Native elements are those elements that occur in the free, uncombined state, and include metallic elements (gold, silver), semimetallic elements (arsenic, antimony), and nonmetallic elements (carbon, sulfur). The metals are more numerous, and because they are malleable and have a metallic appearance, they are readily recognized.
Dana's textbook of Mineralogy divides the Native Elements into the three sections:
- Chesterman, Charles W. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals, Alfred A. Knopf: New York (1987)
- Dana, Edward S. and Ford, William E. Dana's Textbook of Mineralogy - Fourth Edition, John Wiley and Sons: New York (1932)