Gadolinium was discovered in 1880 by Jean de Marignac. Its name derives from the name of the mineral "gadolinite".
Gadolinium's melting point is at 1311.0 C (1584.15 K, 2391.8 F) and its boiling point is at 3233.0 C (3506.15 K, 5851.4 F).
Gadolinium is a silvery-white rare-earth metal.
Gadolinium is ductile and malleable.
Gadolinium is not found freely in nature but in different salts.
Gadolinium is ferromagnetic below 68°F (20°C) and paramagnetic above 68°F.
Metallic gadolinium is relatively stable in dry air (in moist air it forms a layer of gadolinium oxide).
Six stable isotopes of gadolinium are known: 154-Gd, 155-Gd, 156-Gd, 157-Gd, 158-Gd (the most abundant), and 160-Gd.
Gadolinium is produced from the minerals monazite and bastnasite.
Gadolinium is used in metallurgy in iron and chromium alloys, to target tumors in neutron therapy, in shielding nuclear reactors, in nuclear marine propulsion, in imaging, X-ray systems, in fuel cells, and many other specialized applications.
Gadolinium has no known biological role and as a free ion it is considered toxic.