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I heard that $\ce{Fe}(\mathrm{III})$ is more common than $\ce{Fe}(\mathrm{II})$ but I've not heard a very clear explanation. Could someone please explain this incorporating electron configurations in their answer?

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The electron configuration of $\ce{Fe(II)}$ is $1s^22s^22p^6 3s^23p^6 3d^6$.

The electron configuration of $\ce{Fe(III)}$ is $1s^22s^22p^6 3s^23p^6 3d^5$.

The half filled orbital $3d$ is more stable than the same orbital filled with 6 electrons. So, $\ce{Fe(III)} $ ion is more common than $\ce{Fe(II)}$.

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  • $\begingroup$ I’m not sure if this is more than half of the truth, but I’ll leave it to the true experts to tell me, whether I’m right or wrong. (Sure, this is taught in schools, but it seems to simple to me, and the half-filled shell concept has been deemed invalid in other answers that I don’t have on-hand atm.) $\endgroup$ – Jan Sep 16 '15 at 17:14

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