name = Galena
category = Sulfides
imagesize = 150
caption = Galena
crystalfrom Galena, Kansas
color = Lead gray, silvery
habit = Cubes and octahedra, tabular and sometimes skeletal crystals
system = Isometric hexoctahedral
cleavage = Cubic
fracture = Flat (when cubic) to even
mohs = 2.5 - 2.75
luster = Metallic
refractive = Opaque
pleochroism = None
streak = Lead gray
gravity = 7.4 - 7.6
fusibility = 2
Galena is the natural mineral form of
lead sulfide. It is the most important lead oremineral.
Galena is one of the most abundant and widely distributed sulfide minerals. It crystallizes in the cubic crystal system often showing
octahedralforms. It is often associated with the minerals sphalerite, calciteand fluorite.
Lead ore deposits
Galena deposits often contain significant amounts of
silveras included silver sulfide mineral phases or as limited solid solution within the galena structure. These argentiferous galenas have long been the most important ore of silver in mining. In addition zinc, cadmium, antimony, arsenic and bismuth also occur in variable amounts in lead ores. Selenium substitutes for sulfur in the structure constituting a solid solution series. The lead telluride mineral altaitehas the same crystal structure as galena. Within the weatheringor oxidationzone galena alters to anglesite(lead sulfate) or cerussite(lead carbonate). Galena exposed to acid mine drainage can be oxidized to anglesite by naturally occurring bacteria and archaea, in a process similar to bioleaching. [ [http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VBT-4D75MX0-1&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=f0a90eb652838f319a5aba270e7c76ae Hydrometallurgy. "Kinetics and mechanism of the bacterial and ferric sulphate oxidation of galena"] ]
Galena deposits are found in Wales,
Germany, France, Romania, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Gorno northern Italy, Spain, Scotland, England, Australia, and Mexico. Noted deposits include those at Freiberg, Saxony; Cornwall, Derbyshire, and Cumberland, England; the Sullivan Mineof British Columbia; and Broken Hill, Australia. Galena also occurs at Mount Hermonin Northern Israel. In the United Statesit occurs most notably in the Mississippi Valley type deposits of the Lead Beltin southeastern Missouri, and in similar environments in Illinois, Iowaand Wisconsin. Galena also was a major mineral of the zinc-lead mines of the tri-state districtaround Joplinin southwestern Missouri and the adjoining areas of Kansasand Oklahoma. Galena is also an important ore mineral in the silver mining regions of Colorado, Idaho, Utahand Montana. Of the latter, the Coeur d'Alene district of northern Idaho was most prominent.
Galena is the official state mineral of the U. S. states: Missouri and Wisconsin.
One of the earliest uses of galena was as kohl, which in
Ancient Egypt, was applied around the eyes to reduce the glare of the desert sun and to repel flies, which were a potential source of disease. [Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Art of Medicine in Ancient Egypt." (New York: The Museum, 2005), p. 10, ISBN 1-58839-170-1]
Galena is a
semiconductorwith a small bandgap of about 0.4 eV which found use in early wirelesscommunication systems. For example, it was used as the crystal in crystal radio sets, in which it was used as a point-contact diodeto detect the radio signals. The galena crystal was used with a safety pin or similar sharp wire, which was known as a "cat's whisker". Making such wireless sets was a popular home hobby in the North of England during the 1930s. Derbyshire was one of the main areas where Galena was mined. Scientists that were linked to this application are Karl Ferdinand Braunand Sir Jagdish Bose. In modern wireless communication systems, galena detectors have been replaced by more reliable semiconductor devices, though siliconpoint-contact microwave detectors still exist in the market.
List of minerals
* Klein, Cornelis and Cornelius S. Hurlbut, Jr. (1985) "Manual of Mineralogy", Wiley, 2nd ed., pp. 274–276, ISBN 0-471-80580-7
* [http://webmineral.com/data/Galena.shtml Webmineral data]
* [http://www.mindat.org/min-1641.html Mindat with location data]
* [http://franklin-sterlinghill.com/dunn/ch21/galena.stm Franklin and Sterling Hill] mineral deposits
* [http://rruff.geo.arizona.edu/doclib/hom/galena.pdf Mineral Data Publishing - PDF]
* [http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/HEC/CSEM/lead/ Case Studies in Environmental Medicine (CSEM): Lead Toxicity]
* [http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/tfacts13.html ToxFAQs: Lead]
* [http://www.mii.org/Minerals/photolead.html Mineral information institute] entry for lead
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