In 1828, yttrium was discovered in a new mineral, gadolinite, which was found near the Swedish town Ytterby. Today, commercial-grade yttrium is obtained from monazite sand, a mixture of phosphates of thorium, cerium, and most of the other rare-earths. Separation of yttrium is achieved by an ion exchange process.

Yttrium is a silvery, ductile metal. As a powder, yttrium burns easily. It is moderately light-weight and is considered as a rare-earth element. The major use of the metal includes its use:

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