"Metals, Rare Earth" is a descriptor in the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary thesaurus,
MeSH (Medical Subject Headings). Descriptors are arranged in a hierarchical structure,
which enables searching at various levels of specificity.
A group of elements that include SCANDIUM; YTTRIUM; and the LANTHANOID SERIES ELEMENTS. Historically, the rare earth metals got their name from the fact that they were never found in their pure elemental form, but as an oxide. In addition they were very difficult to purify. They are not truly rare and comprise about 25% of the metals in the earth's crust.
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