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Like in the question. Why neodymium magnets (Nd2Fe14B) are called "neodymium magnets"? Why not boron magnets? Or iron magnets?

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    $\begingroup$ Because without the neodymium it's an iron magnet, or to give it the technical name - a magnet. The neodymium is what makes it special. $\endgroup$ Nov 8 '13 at 9:44
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"iron magnets" are the regular kind of magnet.

It's a rare-earth magnet, and the key ingredient in these is the rare earth metal. In this case, the Neodymium. One probably could replace the boron with something else and change the ratios a bit (probably getting a weaker but still effective magnet). The rare earth is what makes it so strong, so it is named after the rare earth metal it contains.

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  • $\begingroup$ So is it because Nd has special properties or because it is rare? Boron is not very abundant on Earth either. $\endgroup$
    – Eiver
    Nov 8 '13 at 13:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Eiver "rare earth metals" refers to the lanthanides and actinides. Boron is not a rare earth. Nd is the one with special properties. $\endgroup$ Nov 8 '13 at 13:22
  • $\begingroup$ Ok, now I've read the linked article with care. So Nd is special because it has so many unpaired electrons, which contribute to the magnetic field and iron is there only to fix the Curie temperature, which is otherwise very low. Thanks for the link. $\endgroup$
    – Eiver
    Nov 8 '13 at 13:31

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