It was named after the Swedish village it was discovered in, Ytterby
for development of the Ytterby
project in Quebec, Canada.
Rare earth elements were first identified in a mineral unearthed from a quarry in Ytterby
, a small town not far from Stockholm, in 1787.
The moniker originates from their first discovery, in a so-called rare earth mineral (an uncommon oxide-type mineral) called gadolinite, in an abandoned mine outside the village of Ytterby
in Sweden by Karl Arrhenius, a Swedish army lieutenant and amateur mineralogy student, in 1787.
Gilbert first turned up as a dealer at Tucson in the 1970's; he literally had hundreds of flats of antique mineral specimens, mostly stacked in cubic closest packing under his tables and there would always be a small army of enthusiastic shoppers sitting in lotus-like contortions trying to find some rarity from Elba, Iveland, or Ytterby
A Finnish chemist, Johan Gadolin (1760-1852), studied a strange mineral that had been obtained from a quarry in Ytterby
In 1787 an artillery officer, Carl Axel Arrhenius (1757-1824), found a black mineral in the quartz and feldspar quarry at Ytterby
, northeast of Stockholm, which was shown by the chemist Johan Gadolin to contain a new "earth"--yttria.
The first three were named from syllables of Ytterby
, the quarry in Sweden where the first rare earth mineral had been obtained.