The article provides information on rare earth elements, which are group of 17 natural metallic elements. The rare earth elements are scandium, yttrium and lanthanides and classified into light rare earth elements (LREE) and heavy rate earth elements (HREE). The principal ores of the rare earth elements are identified. An overview of China's production of 97 percent of the rare earths in the world is provided. Commercial applications of rare earths are described.