French chemist Eugene-Anatole Demarcay is credited with the discovery of europium in 1901 and was named for the continent of Europe. In the 1960s, it was discovered that europium could be used with phosphorous to create a vivid red for color television, allowing revolutionary use of bright colors in new sets.
Europium does not occur as a free element in nature, but is found in many minerals. Europium is used for a number of specialized commercial applications including: color doping in optics, such as visual monitors and lasers; anti-counterfeiting measures in Euro banknotes. This element has had commercial applications for over a half a century and should continue to hold commercial value for investors in the future.