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We report the scintillation properties of the undoped and cerium-doped variations of LiGdCl4 and NaGdCl4 . Powder samples of these materials exhibit significant scintillation under X-rays. The samples were synthesized by solid-state methods from a 1:1 molar ratio of lithium or sodium chloride and gadolinium trichloride. Cerium trichloride was used as the dopant. The physical, optical, and scintillation properties of these materials were analyzed by powder X-ray diffraction, photoluminescence, X-ray excited luminescence, and pulsed X-ray luminosity measurements. Increases in light yields are observed as the concentration of cerium increases. The highest light yields occurred at 20% cerium doping for both compounds. At larger concentrations neither compound formed, indicating a breakdown of the lattice with the addition of large amounts of cerium cations. At 20% cerium, LiGdCl4 and NaGdCl4 display scintillation light 3.6 times and 2.2 times the light yield of the reference material, YAlO3 :Ce3+ , respectively. Both emit in the ranges of 340-350 nm and 365-370 nm and display multiexponential decays with cerium-like decay components at 33 ns (LiGdCl4:Ce) and 26 ns (NaGdCl4:Ce).