Nils Gustaf Nordenskiöld was born in Mäntsälä in what is now southern Finland, which in 1792, the year of his birth, was still part of the Kingdom of Sweden. He studied mineralogy in Helsinki and was soon appointed as the inspector of mines for Finland, which by this time had become an autonomous Grand Duchy of Russia.
- Name: Nils Gustaf Nordenskiöld
- Date of Birth: 12th October 1792
- Country of Birth: Mäntsälä, Finland
- Date of Death: 2nd February 1866 (age 74)
Due to his experience as the inspector of mines in his native land, on October 3 1819, he was elected to the corresponding position of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Nordenskiöld discovered several minerals previously unknown in Finland and Russia, and in 1820, he published the first scientific handbook on Finnish minerals. He also published many articles in overseas journals, carrying his reputation well beyond Scandinavia. In 1849, Nordenskjold examined a mysterious jewel nicknamed "Ural's Chrysolite" and discovered that it was a fine and fiery green form of Andradite Garnet. In 1854, he proposed the name Demantoid, meaning "like a Diamond".
In his later years, he worked hard to ensure his son, Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld, shared his vast knowledge, and he went on to become a renowned explorer in his own right. Nordenskiöld returned to Finland and was appointed superintendent of the Mining Board, a job he held until his death in 1865.