Coprecipitation as a method of preparation for bismuth oxides based ceramics yields relatively strong and machineable materials in comparison with the solid state reaction. Compositions within the system (1−x)Bi2O3|xEr2O3 containing up to twenty five mole percent of erbium oxide show a slow transition on heating at 900 K from a cubic to a hexagonal (rhombohedral) phase. The resulting hexagonal phase is stable up to 1000 K where it transforms back to the cubic phase. Long term heating at 775 K causes formation of traces of ∝ - bismuth oxide in these samples, but the material itself remains cubic. Compositions containing thirty mole percent of erbium oxide do not show any such changes and hence are suitable for application purposes.