39. Yttrium - Elementymology & Elements Multidict

Elementymology & Elements Multidict

This site comprises 120 pages of text and photos, one for each element, and several pages for access. – For captions or explanatory texts move your mouse over illustrations, links etc.

Yttrium – Yttrium – Yttrium – Itrio – イットリウム – Иттрий – 釔
Multilingual dictionary

Yttrium Latin

— Germanic
Ittrium Afrikaans
Yttrium Danish
Yttrium German
Yttrium English
Yttrium Faroese
Yttrium Frisian (West)
Yttrín Icelandic
Yttrium Luxembourgish
Yttrium Dutch
Yttrium Norwegian
Yttrium Swedish

— Italic
Itrio Aragonese
Itriumu Aromanian
Itriu Asturian
Itri Catalan
Itrio Spanish
Yttrium French
Itri Friulian
Itrio Galician
Ittrio Italian
Ítri Lombard
Ittri Occitan
Itrio Portuguese
Ytriu Romanian - Moldovan

— Slavic
Итрий [Itrij] Bulgarian
Itrij[um] Bosnian
Iтрый [itryj] Belarusian
Yttrium Czech
Itrij Croatian
Éter Kashubian
Итриум [Itrium] Macedonian
Itr Polish
Иттрий [Ittrij] Russian
Ytrium Slovak
Itrij Slovenian
Итријум [Itrijum] Serbian
Iтрій [itrij] Ukrainian

— Baltic
Itris Lithuanian
Itrijs Latvian
Ėtris Samogitian

— Celtic
Itriom Breton
Ytriwm Welsh
Itriam Gaelic (Irish)
Itriam Gaelic (Scottish)
Yttrium Gaelic (Manx)
Ytryum Cornish

— Other Indo-European
Υττριο [yttrio] Greek
Իտրիում [itrium] Armenian
Itrium, ²Yttriumi Albanian

— Indo-Iranian/Iranian
Îtriyûm Kurdish
Иттрий [Ittrij] Ossetian
Иттрий [Ittri'] Tajik

— Indo-Iranian/Indo-Aryan
ইটরিয়াম [iṭriẏāma] Bengali
ایتریم [aytrym] Persian
ઇટ્રીયમનો [iṭrīyamano] Gujarati
इत्रियम [itriyama] Hindi

ütrium Estonian
Yttrium Finnish
Ittrium Hungarian
Иттрий [Ittrij] Komi
Иттрий [Ittrij] Mari
Итри [itri] Moksha
ütrium Võro

İttrium Azerbaijani
Иттри [Ittri] Chuvash
Иттрий [ittrij] Kazakh
Иттрий [Ittrij] Kyrgyz
Иттри [ittri] Mongolian
İtriyum Turkish
ئىتترىي ['ittriy] Uyghur
Ittriy Uzbek

Other (Europe)
Itrioa Basque
იტრიუმი [itriumi] Georgian

يتريوم [ītriyūm] Arabic
איטריום [itrium] Hebrew
Ittrijum, ²Ittrju Maltese

Yet (釔) Hakka
イットリウム [ittoriumu] Japanese
이트륨 [iteuryum] Korean
อิตเทรียม [itthriam] Thai
Ytri Vietnamese
[yi1 / yuet9] Chinese

Itriyo Cebuano
Itrium Indonesian
Yttrium Māori
Ytrium Malay

Other Asiatic
യിട്രിയം [yiṭriyam] Malayalam
யிற்றியம் [yiṟṟţiyam] Tamil

Yetibu (Yb?) Lingala
Yttriamo Sesotho
Yitri Swahili

Itrio Nahuatl

Itriyu Quechua

Itrimi Sranan Tongo

Itrio Esperanto

New names
Itrion Atomic Elements
Electronica Dorseyville
memory peg

Shiny steel-gray metal
melting point 1522 °C; 2772 °F
boiling point 3338 °C; 6040 °F
density 4.47 g/cc; 278.99 pounds/cubic foot
1794 Johan Gadolin, Finland
Ytterby, village in Sweden (just as Ytterbium, Erbium, and Terbium!)
named by Anders Gustaf Ekeberg

History & Etymology

The chemist Lieutenant Carl Axel Arrhenius (1757-1824), student of the Swedish chemist Berzelius, found in 1787 in the dumps of the Ytterby quarry (for information and illustrations of Ytterby's quarry and a location map see the Rare Earths page) an interesting find, an exceptionally heavy piece of black broken rock. He named it ytterbite after the location with the standard suffix -ite added to indicate a mineral. This stone was sent to, among others, Johan Gadolin (1760-1852), professor at Åbo University.
Gadolin found that the "black stone of Ytterby" was composed of 38% of a new "earth type" ("earths" are compounds of elements, usually oxides). He concluded his analysis in 1794 and named this new earth ytterbia (note). His analysis was confirmed three years (1797) later when Anders Gustaf Ekeberg (1767-1813) analysed a larger sample. Ekeberg shortened the name to yttria. In the decades after Antoine Lavoisier developed the new chemistry built on the concept that earths could be reduced to their elements, the discovery of a new earth (with name ending in "a") was regarded as equivalent to discovering the element within. Thus the element reducible from the earth yttria would be Yttrium.

However, yttria was in fact it was a mixture of a number of metal oxides. In 1843, Carl Gustav Mosander (1797-1858) separated yttria into three parts, one of which kept the original name:

  1. Yttria (with a colorless salt and colorless oxide),
  2. Erbia (yellow oxide, colorless salt), and
  3. Terbia (rose oxide, red salt).
    (Later Erbia and Terbia were interchanged).
He published the results of his research in an annex dated July 1843 to the German translation of his paper on the metals he found in Cerium: "Ueber die das Cerium begleitenden neuen Metalle Lanthanium und Didymium, so wie über die mit der Yttererde vorkommenden neuen Metalle Erbium und Terbium" (On the new metals Lanthanum and Didymium, accompanying Cerium, and on the metals Erbium and Terbium occuring with yttria) (note):

In more than a century of research, ten new elements were found in Gadolin's yttria (see table above). To commemorate Johan Gadolin, the mineral was renamed by Martin Klaproth into gadolinite.

Until the 1920s the chemical symbol Yt was used (note).

Chemistianity 1873
YTTRIUM, a metal of great scarceness,
Is known only in blackish gray powder;
Its Oxide (Yttria) is yellowish white
In colour. Yttrium never yields a Spectrum.
Yttria is found in Yttrotantalite,
In Orthite, (each extremely rare min'rals),
And Ytterbite from Ytterby, Sweden.
By ignition you can obtain Yttrium
From Yttrium Chloride and Potassium.
J. Carrington Sellars, Chemistianity, 1873, p. 130-131


Peter van der Krogt in Ytterby, Summer 2009.

Click here
for more photos

Ytterby, a village in Sweden on the island of Resarö, close to Vaxholm (east of Stockholm) is a deposit of many unusual minerals, containing rare earth and other elements.

A Chronological list of discovery of the rare earths and their names and information and illustrations of Ytterby's quarry and a location map is on the Rare Earths page.

Further reading
  • Mary Elvira Weeks, Discovery of the Elements, comp. rev. by Henry M. Leicester (Easton, Pa.: Journal of Chemical Education, 1968), pp. 667-699.
  • Seltene Erden. Gmelins Handbuch der anorganische Chemie, 8. Aufl.; System-Nummer 39 (1938).
  • Lauri Niinistö, "Discovery and Separation of Rare Earths". In Rare Earths, ed. Regino Sáez Puche & Paul A. Caro, 25-42. Madrid: Editorial Complutense, 1997.
  • Peter B. Dean, and Kirsti I. Dean, "Sir Johan Gadolin of Turku: The Grandfather of Gadolinium." (on-line PDF file).

Sources Index of Persons Index of Alleged Elements