• Chemistry: Ni, Elemental Nickel
  • Class: Elements
  • Group: Iron
  • Uses: as a mineral specimen and scientific studies.
  • Specimens

Native Nickel is extremely rare in nature, as it is almost always alloyed with iron. Iron meteorites, for example, are typically 6% to 20% nickel.

About 30% of the nickel mined on Earth comes from the Sudbury Astrobleme, a large impact crater in southern Canada (the city of Sudbury, Ontario, Canada lies along the southern rim and is known as the nickel city). A large (10km) nickel-iron meteorite apparently struck here about 1.85 billion years ago, and the rich metal deposits are what remain of the meteorite.

In 1967 native nickel was identified in samples from Bogata in New Caledonia. It forms in serpentinized ultramafic rocks from low-temperature hydrothermal activity. It has since been identified from a number of other locations, including meteor strikes.


  • Color is bluish white.
  • Luster is metallic.
  • Transparency is opaque.
  • Crystal System is isometric
  • Crystal Habits crystal form is extremely rare; cubic when found, but generally granular or massive.
  • Cleavage is absent.
  • Fracture is hackly.
  • Streak is gray metallic.
  • Hardness is 4-5
  • Specific Gravity is 7.8-8.2 (heavy even for metallic)
  • Other Characteristics: malleable, mildly attracted to magnets.
  • Associated Minerals are olivine, pyroxenes, and some minerals that are only found in meteorites. In terrestrial samples it is found with gold and platinum and with sulfide ores.
  • Notable Occurrences New Caledonia, Meteor Crater, Arizona and San Diego County California, USA,
  • Best Field Indicators are environment, weak attraction to magnets, malleablility.
NICKEL specimens:
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NICKEL specimen nik-1
$ 25.00
Dims mm=30.1x22.1x11.1
Wt g=4.22
Colorado, USA
This specimen of the element nickel is simply too perfect to be natural - I am certain that it is lab grown. It is a lovely silver-gray color and metallic luster, and has a botryoidal growth resulting in a branching tree that looks much like a sea fan or certain corals. The base has an area that exposes the center of the material, which is a black material with bright green crystals which must be a decomposition product of the nickel, possibly annabergite.
no photo
nik-1 ($ 25.00)
Colorado, USA


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