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Digital Subscriptions > Rock&Gem Magazine > December 2019 > A COLORFUL LITHIUM MINERAL


Aiding in Technological Advancement
Crystals of major industrial lithium ore spodumene showing red to red pink fluorescence in ultraviolet light. Specimen is from the Haapaluoma lithium quarry in Finland.

The age of technology depends on huge amounts of all sorts of elements, including the 17 rare earthelements listed separately along the base of a Periodic Table chart. We don’t hear much about elements such as praseodymium, neodymium, and other rare earthcompanions. But they are an important component of today’s smartphones, computers, and cell phones, among other technological devices.

There is another much simpler and more common element we do know about, lithium. Lithium is one of the lightest natural elements and is extremely chemically active. Any hardware store will sell you lithium batteries. If you own an electric car, you better call AAA if your car’s lithium batteries quit producing electricity.

You might wonder what the connection is between lithium and the rare earthelements. Lithium, which plays an important role very similar to the rare earthelements concerning technology, is more common and easier to recover in quantity.

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About Rock&Gem Magazine

Beckett Rock and Gem December 2019,