native element


native element
Any of the 19 chemical elements that occur as minerals and are found in nature uncombined with other elements.

They are commonly divided into three groups: metals (platinum, iridium, osmium, iron, zinc, tin, gold, silver, copper, mercury, lead, chromium); semimetals (bismuth, antimony, arsenic, tellurium, selenium); and nonmetals (sulfur, carbon). Members of the group of native elements form under widely varying physicochemical conditions and in very different rock types. Many deposits are sufficiently abundant to be commercially important.

* * *

       Native elements Native elements any of a number of chemical elements that may occur in nature uncombined with other elements. The elements that occur as atmospheric gasses are excluded.

      A brief treatment of native elements follows. For full treatment, see mineral: Native elements (mineral).

      Of the 92 chemical elements found in nature only 19 are known to occur as minerals. These native elements are commonly divided into three groups—namely, metals (metal) (platinum, iridium, osmium, iron, zinc, tin, gold, silver, copper, mercury, lead, chromium); semimetals (metalloid) (bismuth, antimony, arsenic, tellurium, selenium); and nonmetals (nonmetal) (sulfur, carbon). In metals the mineral structure is usually either cubic close-packed or hexagonal close-packed. The semimetals and nonmetals have more complex structures. Several native elements (e.g., carbon) have one or more polymorphic forms whose occurrence depends on the conditions of formation.

      It is virtually impossible to make generalizations as to the occurrence of the native elements. They form under greatly contrasting physicochemical conditions and in all types of rocks. Even a single native element can occur in widely diverse environments. Native iron ( kamacite), for example, is found primarily in meteorites. The iron meteorites called hexahedrites are almost completely composed of kamacite, and in those called octahedrites it is the principal constituent. Although terrestrial native iron is a great rarity, it has been found in igneous rocks (basalts), in carbonaceous sedimentary rocks, and in petrified wood.

      Many of the other metals and certain non-metals are sufficiently abundant to form deposits of commercial importance. Native gold and silver, for example, are the principal ores of these metals.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • native element — noun any chemical element which occurs in nature uncombined with other elements; includes the atmospheric gases, several metals and semimetals, and the nonmetals sulfur and carbon …   Wiktionary

  • Native element minerals — are those elements that occur in nature in uncombined form with a distinct mineral structure. The elemental class includes metals and intermetallic elements, semi metals and non metals. This group also includes natural alloys, phosphides,… …   Wikipedia

  • Native metal — Kondyor Mine Region Chabarowsk: native platinum nugget A native metal is any metal that is found in its metallic form, either pure or as an alloy, in nature. Metals that can be found as native deposits singly and/or in alloys include aluminium,… …   Wikipedia

  • native — natively, adv. nativeness, n. /nay tiv/, adj. 1. being the place or environment in which a person was born or a thing came into being: one s native land. 2. belonging to a person by birth or to a thing by nature; inherent: native ability; native… …   Universalium

  • Native copper — Copper Native copper from Ray mine, Arizona (specimen 5.25 x 4 x 1 cm) General Category Native metal C …   Wikipedia

  • element — /el euh meuhnt/, n. 1. a component or constituent of a whole or one of the parts into which a whole may be resolved by analysis: Bricks and mortar are elements of every masonry wall. 2. Chem. one of a class of substances that cannot be separated… …   Universalium

  • native American — native American, adj. a person born in the United States. [1835 45, Amer.] * * * ▪ indigenous peoples of Canada and United States Introduction also called  American Indian,  Amerindian,  Amerind,  Indian,  Aboriginal American,  or  First Nation… …   Universalium

  • Native American civil rights — are the civil rights of Native Americans in the United States. Although indigenous to the Americas, American Indians became one of many minorities and the movement for American Indian civil rights began almost as soon as Europeans started to… …   Wikipedia

  • Native American jewelry — is the personal adornment, often in the forms of necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings, pins, brooches, labrets, and others, made by the Indigenous peoples of the United States. Native American jewelry reflects the cultural diversity and history… …   Wikipedia

  • element — element, component, constituent, ingredient, factor are comparable when they mean one of the parts, substances, or principles which make up a compound or complex thing. Element is, except in its specific sense in science, the most widely… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.