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Xenotime
Xenotime is a rare earth phosphate mineral, whose major component is yttrium orthophosphate (YPO4). The rare earths dysprosium, erbium, terbium, and ytterbium, and metal elements like thorium and uranium (all replacing yttrium) are the expressive secondary components of xenotime.

CharacteristicsEdit

Due to uranium and thorium impurities, some xenotime specimens may be weakly to strongly radioactive. Xenotime is used chiefly as a source of yttrium and heavy lanthanide metals (dysprosium, ytterbium and erbium). Occasionally, gemstones are also cut from the finer xenotime crystals. The etymology of the name xenotime is from the Greek words "κευός vain and τιμή honor because the yttrium contained within it was first thought to be a new element. According to Vickery, the original name of the mineral was "kenotime", but due to a misprint, the "k" became an "x", and the change stuck. Xenotime was first described for an occurrence in Vest-Agder, Norway in 1832.

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