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Pyromorphite

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Formula:
Pb
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
Cl
System:HexagonalColour:Green to dark green, ...
Lustre:Sub-Vitreous, Resinous, Waxy, GreasyHardness:3½ - 4
Member of:Apatite Group > Apatite Supergroup
Name:Originally called Grön Blyspat and Minera plumbi viridis by Johan Gottschalk Wallerius in 1748 and, later, Mine de plumb verte in 1753. An author named "Schultze", possibly Christian Friedrich Schultze [1730-1775 of Dresden, Germany] used the descriptive terms grünbleierz and braunbleierz in 1761 onward that have been subsequently attributed to Abraham Gottlob Werner in 1791. Named pyromorphite in 1813 by Johann Friedrich Ludwig Hausmann from the Greek for "fire" and "form", because, after being melted into a globule, a sample will begin to take on a crystalline shape during cooling. Hausmann also used the name traubenblei in 1813. Additional names have been introduced for minerals that were thought to be something other than pyromorphite including: polysphaerite by August Breithaupt in 1832, nuissierite by G. Barruel in 1836, miesite by August Breithaupt in 1841, cherokine by Charles U. Shepard in 1857, plumbeine and sexagulit by August Breithaupt in 1863, and collieite by Robert Brown in 1927.
Isostructural with:Mimetite, Vanadinite


Apatite Group, Apatite Supergroup.
Mimetite-Pyromorphite Series. The phosphate analogue of Mimetite and Vanadinite.

A secondary lead mineral found in the oxidised zones of lead deposits. Typically found as green, yellowish, brownish, greyish or white barrel-shaped hexagonal prisms, in clusters or as druses on matrix. The individual crystals are often modified or etched, giving a hopper-like appearance. This lead chloride phosphate forms a complete series with Mimetite (lead chloride arsenate), and many specimens are intermediates between the two end-members.
"Ca-rich pyromorphite" may be phosphohedyphane.

Also forms a series with Hydroxylpyromorphite and probably the Unnamed (F-analogue of Pyromorphite).

Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Pyromorphite. Currently in public beta-test.

Classification of Pyromorphite

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:7/B.39-150
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:8.BN.05

8 : PHOSPHATES, ARSENATES, VANADATES
B : Phosphates, etc., with additional anions, without H2O
N : With only large cations, (OH, etc.):RO4 = 0.33:1
Dana 7th edition ID:41.8.4.1
Dana 8th edition ID:41.8.4.1

41 : ANHYDROUS PHOSPHATES, ETC.CONTAINING HYDROXYL OR HALOGEN
8 : A5(XO4)3Zq
Hey's CIM Ref.:22.2.9

22 : Phosphates, Arsenates or Vanadates with other Anions
2 : Phosphates, arsenates or vanadates with chloride
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Type Occurrence of Pyromorphite

Type Locality:Zschopau, Erzgebirge, Saxony, Germany
Year of Discovery:1813

Occurrences of Pyromorphite

Geological Setting:A secondary mineral found in the oxidised zones of lead ore deposits.

Physical Properties of Pyromorphite

Lustre:Sub-Vitreous, Resinous, Waxy, Greasy
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Transparent, Translucent
Colour:Green to dark green, yellow, greenish-yellow or yellowish-green, orangish-yellow, shades of brown, white and colourless; colourless or faintly tinted in transmitted light.
Comment:Colorless when pure
Streak:White
Hardness (Mohs):3½ - 4
Hardness Data:Measured
Tenacity:Brittle
Cleavage:Poor/Indistinct
In traces on {1011}.
Fracture:Irregular/Uneven, Sub-Conchoidal
Density (measured):7.04 g/cm3
Density (calculated):7.109 g/cm3

Crystallography of Pyromorphite

Crystal System:Hexagonal
Class (H-M):6/m - Dipyramidal
Space Group:P63/m
Space Group Setting:P63/m
Cell Parameters:a = 9.987Å, c = 7.33Å
Ratio:a:c = 1 : 0.734
Unit Cell Volume:V 633.15 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:2
Morphology:Crystals prismatic [0001] and usually simple, showing {1010}, {0001}, {1011}; barrel-shaped, spindle-shaped, and sometimes equant; terminations may be cavernous ("hopper" or "skeletal"); more rarely tabular {0001} or pyramidal; sometimes in branching groups of prismatic crystals in parallel positions, tapering to points; may also be globular, reniform, wart-like with sub-columnar structure, and granular. Crystals may show concentric growth patterns, probably due to P/As content variation.
Twinning:Very rare on {1122}{1010} at Puech de Compolibat (Mills et al., 2012)
Crystal Atlas:
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Pyromorphite no.6 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Pyromorphite no.7 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Pyromorphite no.12 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)

About Crystal Atlas

The mindat.org Crystal Atlas allows you to view a selection of crystal drawings of real and idealised crystal forms for this mineral and, in certain cases, 3d rotating crystal objects. The 3d models and HTML5 code are kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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Epitaxial Relationships of Pyromorphite

Epitaxial Minerals:
Galena
PbS
Epitaxi Comments:Galena forms thin films on the surface of Pyromorphite crystals (Blaubleierz; Plumbeine) with Galena {001} [001] parallel with Pyromorphite {0001} (1120) (1010) [0001].
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
Image Loading

Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Horizontal Axis: ° to ° Vertical Axis: % Source Data: Filtered Data:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
d-spacingIntensity
4.13(50)
3.38(30)
3.27(40)
2.99(100)
2.96(100)
2.89(60)
2.064(30)
1.861(30)
Comments:Data given are for synthetic material.

Optical Data of Pyromorphite

Type:Uniaxial (-)
RI values: nω = 2.058 nε = 2.048
Birefringence:0.010
Maximum Birefringence:δ = 0.010

Chart shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:Very High
Optical Extinction:Parallel
Pleochroism:Weak
Comments:Visible in tinted material in transmitted light.
Comments:May be anomalously biaxial -, sectored.

Chemical Properties of Pyromorphite

Formula:
Pb
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
Cl
Simplified for copy/paste:Pb5(PO4)3Cl
Essential elements:Cl, O, P, Pb
All elements listed in formula:Cl, O, P, Pb
Common Impurities:F,Ra,Ca,Cr,V,As

Relationship of Pyromorphite to other Species

Series:Forms a series with Mimetite (see here)
Member of:Apatite Group > Apatite Supergroup
Other Members of Group:

- +
Alforsite
Ba
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
Cl
Bellite
Pb
 
5
(AsO
 
4
,CrO
 
4
, SiO
 
2
)
 
3
Cl
Carbonate-rich Fluorapatite
Ca
 
5
(PO
 
4
,CO
 
3
)
 
3
(F,O)
Chlorapatite
Ca
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
Cl
Fluorapatite
Ca
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
F
Hydroxylapatite
Ca
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
(OH)
Hydroxylapatite-M
Ca
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
OH
Hydroxylpyromorphite
Pb
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
(OH)
Johnbaumite
Ca
 
5
(AsO
 
4
)
 
3
OH
Johnbaumite-M
Ca
 
5
(AsO
 
4
)
 
3
OH
Manganapatite
Mimetite
Pb
 
5
(AsO
 
4
)
 
3
Cl
Mimetite-2M
Mimetite-M
Pb
 
5
(AsO
 
4
)
 
3
Cl
Miyahisaite
(Sr,Ca)
 
2
Ba
 
3
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
F
Mn-bearing Fluorapatite
(Ca,Mn
2+
 
)
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
(F,Cl,OH) or Ca
 
5
([P,Mn
5+
 
]O
 
4
)
 
3
(F,Cl,OH)
Oxypyromorphite
Pb
 
10
(PO
 
4
)
 
6
O
Pieczkaite
Mn
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
Cl
Stronadelphite
Sr
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
F
Svabite
Ca
 
5
(AsO
 
4
)
 
3
F
Turneaureite
Ca
 
5
(AsO
 
4
)
 
3
Cl
Unnamed (F-analogue of Pyromorphite)
Pb
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
F
Unnamed (OH-analogue of Mimetite)
Pb
 
5
(AsO
 
4
)
 
3
(OH)
Vanadinite
Pb
 
5
(VO
 
4
)
 
3
Cl
Common Associates:
WillemiteSmithsoniteSilverPlumbogummiteGalena
CerussiteAnglesite
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
8.BN.05Alforsite
Ba
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
Cl
8.BN.05Belovite-(Ce)
NaCeSr
 
3
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
F
8.BN.05Carbonate-rich Fluorapatite
Ca
 
5
(PO
 
4
,CO
 
3
)
 
3
(F,O)
8.BN.05Carbonate-rich Hydroxylapatite
Ca
 
5
(PO
 
4
,CO
 
3
)
 
3
(OH,O)
8.BN.05Chlorapatite
Ca
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
Cl
8.BN.05Mimetite-M
Pb
 
5
(AsO
 
4
)
 
3
Cl
8.BN.05Johnbaumite-M
Ca
 
5
(AsO
 
4
)
 
3
OH
8.BN.05Fluorapatite
Ca
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
F
8.BN.05Hedyphane
Pb
 
3
Ca
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
3
Cl
8.BN.05Hydroxylapatite
Ca
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
(OH)
8.BN.05Johnbaumite
Ca
 
5
(AsO
 
4
)
 
3
OH
8.BN.05Mimetite
Pb
 
5
(AsO
 
4
)
 
3
Cl
8.BN.05Morelandite
Ca
 
2
Ba
 
3
(AsO
 
4
)
 
3
Cl
8.BN.05Fluorstrophite
SrCaSr
 
3
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
F
8.BN.05Svabite
Ca
 
5
(AsO
 
4
)
 
3
F
8.BN.05Turneaureite
Ca
 
5
(AsO
 
4
)
 
3
Cl
8.BN.05Vanadinite
Pb
 
5
(VO
 
4
)
 
3
Cl
8.BN.05Belovite-(La)
NaLaSr
 
3
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
F
8.BN.05Deloneite
(Na
 
0.5
REE
 
0.25
Ca
 
0.25
)(Ca
 
0.75
REE
 
0.25
)Sr
 
1.5
(CaNa
 
0.25
REE
 
0.25
)(PO
 
4
)
 
3
F
 
0.5
(OH)
 
0.5
8.BN.05Fluorcaphite
SrCaCa
 
3
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
F
8.BN.05Kuannersuite-(Ce)
NaCeBa
 
3
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
F
 
0.5
Cl
 
0.5
8.BN.05Hydroxylapatite-M
Ca
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
OH
8.BN.05Phosphohedyphane
Ca
 
2
Pb
 
3
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
Cl
8.BN.05Stronadelphite
Sr
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
F
8.BN.05Fluorphosphohedyphane
Ca
 
2
Pb
 
3
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
F
8.BN.05Carlgieseckeite-(Nd)
NaNdCa
 
3
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
F
8.BN.05Miyahisaite
(Sr,Ca)
 
2
Ba
 
3
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
F
8.BN.10Arctite
Na
 
2
Ca
 
4
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
F
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
22.2.1Sampleite
NaCaCu
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
Cl · 5H
 
2
O
22.2.2Lavendulan
NaCaCu
 
5
(AsO
 
4
)
 
4
Cl · 5H
 
2
O
22.2.3Chlorapatite
Ca
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
Cl
22.2.4Turneaureite
Ca
 
5
(AsO
 
4
)
 
3
Cl
22.2.5Shubnikovite
Ca
 
2
Cu
 
8
(AsO
 
4
)
 
6
(OH)Cl · 7H
 
2
O
22.2.6Richelsdorfite
Ca
 
2
Cu
 
5
Sb(AsO
 
4
)
 
4
(OH)
 
6
Cl · 6H
 
2
O
22.2.7Alforsite
Ba
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
Cl
22.2.8Morelandite
Ca
 
2
Ba
 
3
(AsO
 
4
)
 
3
Cl
22.2.10Mimetite
Pb
 
5
(AsO
 
4
)
 
3
Cl
22.2.11Mimetite-M
Pb
 
5
(AsO
 
4
)
 
3
Cl
22.2.12Sahlinite
Pb
 
14
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
O
 
9
Cl
 
4
22.2.13Georgiadèsite
Pb
 
4
(AsO
 
3
)Cl
 
4
(OH)
22.2.14Vanadinite
Pb
 
5
(VO
 
4
)
 
3
Cl
22.2.15Kombatite
Pb
 
14
(VO
 
4
)
 
2
O
 
9
Cl
 
4
22.2.16Leningradite
PbCu
 
3
(VO
 
4
)
 
2
Cl
22.2.17Hedyphane
Pb
 
3
Ca
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
3
Cl
22.2.18Nealite
Pb
 
4
Fe
2+
 
(As
3+
 
O
 
3
)
 
2
Cl
 
4
· 2H
 
2
O
Related Minerals - Dana Grouping):

- +
41.8.4.2Mimetite
Pb
 
5
(AsO
 
4
)
 
3
Cl

Other Names for Pyromorphite

Synonyms:
Brown Lead OreBryoîdeLead phosphateMuscoîdePhosphate of Lead
PolychromePseudocampyliteSexangulite
Other Languages:
Basque:Piromorfita
Bosnian (Latin Script):Piromorfit
Catalan:Piromorfita
Dutch:Pyromorfiet
French:Mine de Plomb verte
Plomb phosphaté
Galician:Piromorfita
German:Pyromorphit
Bleiapatit
Braunbleierz
Buntbleierz
Grünbleierz
Grün Bleyerz
Phosphorblei
Phosphorbleyspat
Phosphorsäurehaltiges Blei
Phosphorsaures Blei
Pseudokampylith
Sexangulit
Italian:Piromorfite
Japanese:緑鉛鉱
Latin:Minera plumbi viridis
Polish:Piromorfit
Portuguese:Piromorfita
Russian:Пироморфит
Simplified Chinese:磷氯铅矿
Spanish:Piromorfita
Pseudocampylita
Pyromorphita
Sexangulita
Swedish:Grön Blyspat
Traditional Chinese:磷氯鉛礦
Varieties:
Ca-bearing PyromorphiteCollieiteGermanate-pyromorphiteNussièrite

Other Information

Fluorescence in UV light:May be yellow to orange in SW and LW
Electrical:Piezoelectric if biaxial.
Other Information:Soluble in HNO3 and KOH. Slightly soluble in carbonated water.

Forms pseudomorphs after Galena and Cerussite (common).

Galena frequently occurs as more or less complete pseudomorphs after pyromorphite. Other pseudomorphs include Apatite after Pyromorphite and Plumbogummite encrusted on, and replacing, Pyromorphite.
Health Warning:No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

References for Pyromorphite

Reference List:

- +
Michaelis, J.M. (1693) Museum Spenerianum sive Catalogus Rerum … Das Spenerische Kabinet Oder Kurtze Beschreibung Aller Sowol künstlich als natürlicher / alter / als neuer / fremder als einheimischer curiösen Sachen / Welche Herr Johann Jacob Spener Seel. Phys. & Math. P.P. auf der Academie zu Halle mit unermüdetem Fleiß colligiret. Leipzig, 222 p. (p. 96, 144-146, as Grün-Bley-Ertz, minera saturni viridis, and minera plumbi virides, from Zschopau/Saxony)

Richter, G.G. (1719) Gazophylacium sive Catalogus Rerum Mineralium et Metallicarum ut et tam domesticorum quam exoticorum, varia rudera urbium fructicum, quo praesentantium una cum quibusdam petrifactis, et lapidibus, ad regnum minerale spectantibus, quas summa industria et labore collegit / Mineralien-Cabinet Oder Beschreibung der fürnehmsten Ertze / darunter / viele in Sachsen befindlich / wie auch andere Ausländische / ingleichen unterschiedene in Stein verwandelte Sachen, Welche Mit großer Mühe / Fleiß / und Unkosten / zusammen getragen. Freiberg, 58 p. (p. 26-27, as Grün Bley-Ertz)

Woodward, J. (1725/1727) An Addition to the Catalogue of the Foreign Native Fossils in the Collection of J. Woodward M.D., London, 21 p. (p. 17, as minera plumbi viridis, from Zschopau)

Minerophilo Freibergensi [this is probably J.C. Zeisig] (1743) Neues und wohleingerichtetes Mineral- und Bergwercks-Lexicon. Chemnitz, 2nd ed., 621 p. (p. 278, as Grün Bley-Ertz)

Cramer, J.A. (1744) Elementa Artis Docimasticae, Dubous Tomis comprehensa, Quorum Prior Theoriam, pesterior Praxin, Ex vera Fossilium indole deductas, atque indubitatæ Experimentorum, summa cum accuratione institutorum, fide firmatas, ordine naturali & doctrina apertissima exhibet. Lugduni Batavorum [= Leiden], 366 p. (p. 273, as minera plumbi viridis, first quantitative analysis of the lead content)

Wallerius, J.G (1748) Mineralogia, eller Mineralriket. Stockholm: 296 (as Grön Blyspat & Minera plumbi viridis).

Wallerius, J.G. (1753) French edition of “Mineralogia, eller Mineralriket.” 2 volumes, Paris: 1: 536 (as Mine de Plomb verte).

Schultze, S. (1761) Sachsens vorzügliche Reichthümer und Seltenheiten des Mineralreichs. Dresdnisches Magazin: 2: 70 (as Grünbleierz, Braunbleierz).

Schultze, S. (1765) Beyträge zur sächsischen Naturhistorie. Dresdnisches Magazin 2: 467 (as Grünbleierz, Braunbleierz).

Klaproth (1784) Crell’s Chemical Journal, London: 1: 394 (as Grün Bleyerz & Phosphorsäurehaltig Blei).

Hausmann, J.F.L. (1813) Handbuch der Mineralogie 3 volumes, Göttingen: 1089 &/or 1090 (as Polychrom & Pyromorphit).

Haidinger, Wm. (1825) Treatise on Mineralogy, by F. Mohs; translation with considerable additions. 3 volumes, Edinburg: 2: 134.

Breithaupt, A. (1832) Vollständige Characteristik etc., 2nd. Edition: 54 (as Polysphaerit).

Igelström (1865) Geologiska Föeningens I Stockholm. Förhandlinger, Stockholm: 22: 229.

Bischoff, G. (1866) Lehrbuch der chemischen und physikalischen Geologie, second edition, 3 volumes, 8vo, Bonn: 3: 742.

Baumhauer (1876) Jb. Min.: 411.

Bertrand (1881) Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 4: 35.

Jannettaz (1881) Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 4: 39.

Jannettaz and Michel (1881) Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 4: 196.

Haege (1888) Min. Siegerland: 36.

Dana, E.S. (1892) System of Mineralogy, 6th. Edition, New York: 770.

Klein (1902) Centralblatt für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie, Stuttgart: 748.

Bowman (1903) Mineralogical Magazine: 13: 324.

Mügge (1903) Jb. Min., Beil.-Bd.: 16: 350.

Bowles (1909) American Journal of Science: 24: 40.

Goldschmidt and Schroeder (1912) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 51: 362.

Amadori (1916) 1st. Lombardo, Rend.: [2], 49, 137.

Goldschmidt, V. (1922) Atlas der Krystallformen. 9 volumes, atlas, and text: vol. 7: 4.

Hintze, Carl (1924) Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1 [4A]: 572, 590, 603.

Carobbi (1926) Reale accademia delle scienze fisiche e matematiche, Naples, Rend.: [3], 32, 54.

Drescher (1926) Centralblatt für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie, Stuttgart: 257.

Shannon, Earl V. (1926) “The Minerals of Idaho,” U.S. National Museum Bulletin 131: 418.

Aminoff and Parsons (1927) Geologiska Föeningens I Stockholm. Förhandlinger, Stockholm: 49: 438.

Zambonini and Ferrari (1928) Reale accademia nazionale dei Lincei, Rome, Atti.: [6], 7, 283.

Lietz (1931) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 77: 437.

Mehmel (1931) Zeitschrift für Physikalische Chemie, Leipzig, Berlin: 15A: 223.

Hendricks, Jefferson, and Mosley (1932) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 81: 352

Schouten (1934) Economic Geology: 29: 611.

Chirva (1935) Trav. inst. Lomonossov, ac. Sc. U.R.S.S., no.: 5: 86.

Mélon (1943) Société géologique de Belgique, Liége, Annales: 66: B56.

Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951) The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged, 1124 pp.: 889-895.

Baker, W. E. (1966) An X-ray diffraction study of synthetic members of the pyromorphite series. American Mineralogist 51, 1712-1721.

Canadian Mineralogist (1989) 27: 189.

Gaines, Richard V., H. Catherine, W. Skinner, Eugene E. Foord, Brian Mason, Abraham Rosenzweig (1997) Dana's New Mineralogy : The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana: 865.

Zeitschrift für Kristallographie (1998) 213: 585-590.

Anthony, J.W., Bideaux, R.A., Bladh, K.W., and Nichols, M.C. (2000) Handbook of Mineralogy, Volume IV. Arsenates, Phosphates, Vanadates. Mineral Data Publishing, Tucson, AZ, 680pp.: 482.

Mills, S.J., Ferraris, G., Kampf, A.R. & Favreau, G. (2012) Twinning in pyromorphite: The first documented occurrence of twinning by merohedry in the apatite supergroup. American Mineralogist, 97, 415–418.

Best Localities for Pyromorphite

Best of Species:Pyromorphite

Internet Links for Pyromorphite

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  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project
  • American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
  • Pyromorphite details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
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  • Specimens:The following Pyromorphite specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

    Localities for Pyromorphite

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