Cronstedt, Axel Fredrik, Baron (äkˈsəl frāˈdrĭk, krōnˈstĕt) [key], 1722–65, Swedish mineralogist and chemist. In 1751 he discovered in niccolite an impure form of nickel, reported it as a newly discovered element, and proposed the name nickel for it. He was one of the first to recognize the importance of the chemical constituents of minerals and rocks and to use the blowpipe in the study of minerals. He wrote An Essay towards a System of Mineralogy (1758; tr., 2d ed. 1788).
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