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Galena crystals


A gray metallic-like mineral composed of sulfide lead sulfide. Galena commonly occurs as cubic crystals. It is the principal ore source for metallic lead and often contains significant amounts of silver. Galena is mined from deposits in Canada, Mexico, England (Cornwall), Australia (Broken Hill), Germany (Clausthal Zellerfeld), Italy, Germany, Romania, Austria, France, Spain, Chile, Peru, Africa, and in the United States (Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Idaho, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, California). When crushed, lead sulfide is a black powder. Powdered galena was used on medieval pottery and 17th century slipware. In the mid 20th century, it was used as a semiconductor in crystal radio sets. Lead sulfide is still used in some ceramic glazes and as a source for the production of sulfate lead sulfate.

Synonyms and Related Terms

galenite; lead glance; lead sulfide; plumbus sulfide; Bleiglanz (Deut.); Galenit (Deut.); galne (Fr.); galaniet (Ned.); galena (Esp., Port.); galeniet (Ned.)



Other Properties

Soluble in nitric acid and hot, dilute hydrochloric acid. Insoluble in water.

Isometric crystal system with cubic crystals. Cleavage=perfect in three directions.

Luster = metallic. Streak = gray. Fracture = subconchoidal, brittle

Composition PbS
CAS 1314-87-0
Mohs Hardness 2.5
Density 7.4-7.6
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 239.27

Hazards and Safety

Toxic by inhalation or ingestion. Skin contact may cause irritation or ulcers. Carcinogen, teratogen, suspected mutagen.

Fisher Scientific: MSDS

Additional Information

Mineralogy Database: Galena


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