Rare-earth metal prices were compiled from the late 1950s and early 1960s through 1994. Although commercial demand for rare-earth metals began in 1908, as the alloy mischmetal, commercial quantities of a wide range of individual rare-earth metals were not available until the late 1950s. The discovery of a large, high-grade rare-earth deposit at Mountain Pass, CA, USA, in 1949, was significant because it led to the production of commercial quantities of rare-earth elements that reduced prices and encouraged wider application of the materials. The availability of ore from Mountain Pass, and other large rare-earth deposits, especially those in Australia and China, has provided the world with abundant resources for rare-earth metal production. This availability, coupled with improved technology from Government and private-sector metallurgical research, has resulted in substantial decreases in rare-earth metal prices since the late 1950s and early 1960s. Price series for the individual rare-earth metals (except promethium) are quoted on a kilogram basis from the late 1950s and early 1960s through 1994. Prices are given in US dollars on an actual and constant dollar basis. Industrial and economic factors affecting prices during this time period are examined.
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Rare-earth metal prices in the USA ca. 1960 to 1994