Group 12 elements differ from Group 3-11 transition metals in that they form compounds in which their oxidation states is no higher than 2+. The Group 2 elements, with +2 valency, differ however in the arrangement of electrons just below the valence shell. In the Group 2 elements these electrons are much more closely bound. This results in the different chemical properties of elements in the two groups.

None of the Group 12 elements are particularly abundant; however in each case the process of separation from the mineral ore is relatively straightforward. The chemical characteristics of mercury vary considerably from those of cadmium and zinc.

Amazon Books
Image of The Last Sorcerers: The Path from Alchemy to the Periodic Table
Author: National Academy of Sciences, Richard Morris
Publisher: Henry (Joseph) Press (2003)
Binding: Hardcover, 294 pages