Rare earths are a series of chemical elements found in the Earth’s crust that are vital to many modern technologies, including consumer electronics, clean energy, health care, communications, advanced transportation, environmental mitigation and national defense.
There are 17 elements that are considered to be rare earth elements- 15 elements in the lanthanide series and two additional elements that share similar chemical properties such as scandium and yttrium. Rare Earth Elements or Rare Earth metals are a collection of 17 elements namely scandium, yttrium and lanthanides (15 elements in the periodic table with atomic numbers 57 to 71 namely: Lanthanum (La), Cerium (Ce), Praseodymium (Pr), Neodymium (Nd), Promethium (Pm), Samarium (Sm), Europium (Eu), Gadolinium (Gd), Terbium (Tb), Dysprosium (Dy), Holmium (Ho), Erbium (Er), Thulium (Tm), Ytterbium (Yb) and Lutetium (Lu)).
Due to their unique magnetic, luminescent, and electrochemical properties, these elements help make many technologies perform with reduced weight, reduced emissions, and energy consumption; or give them greater efficiency, performance, miniaturization, speed, durability, and thermal stability. Rare earth-enabled products and technologies help fuel global economic growth, maintain high standards of living, and even save lives.