Jump to navigation Jump to search



An important zinc ore commonly called zinc blende. Sphalerite is composed of Zinc sulfide. The ore may contain massive transparent, yellow, green, red or brown zinc sulfide crystals with a resinous luster. Gem-quality sphalerite crystals are mined in Mexico (Sonora), and Spain (Santander). The ore is mined in Poland, Belgium, North Africa and the U.S. (Mississippi River valley).

Synonyms and Related Terms

blackjack; black-jack; blende; zinc blende; mock lead; false galena; Zinkblende (Deut.); Sphalerit (Deut., Ned); esfalerita (Esp.); esfalerite (Port.); staleryt (Pol.); sfaleriet (Ned.)



Resources and Citations

  • Soluble in hydrochloric acid.
  • Crystal system = isometric
  • Cleavage is perfect in six directions to from dodecahedron.
  • Fracture = conchoidal.
  • Streak is yellow or light brown.
  • Luster = adamantine
  • Some specimens are highly fluorescent.
Composition ZnS
Mohs Hardness 3.5 - 4.0
Density 3.9-4.1 g/ml

Resources and Citations

  • R.F.Symmes, T.T.Harding, Paul Taylor, Rocks, Fossils and Gems, DK Publishing, Inc., New York City, 1997
  • C.W.Chesterman, K.E.Lowe, Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1979
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

Retrieved from "https://cameo.mfa.org/index.php?title=Sphalerite&oldid=87184"