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Cerussite

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Formula:
PbCO
 
3
System:OrthorhombicColour:Colourless, white, gray, ...
Lustre:Adamantine, Vitreous, Resinous, Pearly, Dull, EarthyHardness:3 - 3½
Member of:Aragonite Group
Name:Named in 1845 by Wilhelm Karl von Haidinger from the Latin, cerussa, meaning "white lead."


Aragonite Group.

Cerussite is a lead carbonate mineral, usually found in the oxidized zone of lead ore deposits. It is a very common weathering product of galena and other lead ore minerals.

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Classification of Cerussite

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:5/B.04-40
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:5.AB.15

5 : CARBONATES (NITRATES)
A : Carbonates without additional anions, without H2O
B : Alkali-earth (and other M2+) carbonates
Dana 8th edition ID:14.1.3.4

14 : ANHYDROUS NORMAL CARBONATES
1 : A(XO3)
Hey's CIM Ref.:11.9.1

11 : Carbonates
9 : Carbonates of Pb, Zr and Th
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Type Occurrence of Cerussite

Type Locality:Vicenza Province, Veneto, Italy

Occurrences of Cerussite

Geological Setting:Commonly occurs in the upper oxidized zones of base metal deposits, especially lead-silver deposits.

Physical Properties of Cerussite

Lustre:Adamantine, Vitreous, Resinous, Pearly, Dull, Earthy
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Transparent, Translucent
Colour:Colourless, white, gray, blue, or green; colourless in transmitted light
Streak:White
Hardness (Mohs):3 - 3½
Tenacity:Very brittle
Cleavage:Distinct/Good
On {110} and {021} distinct; on {010} and {012} in traces.
Fracture:Conchoidal
Density (measured):6.53 - 6.57 g/cm3
Density (calculated):6.558 g/cm3

Crystallography of Cerussite

Crystal System:Orthorhombic
Class (H-M):mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Cell Parameters:a = 5.179(1) Å, b = 8.492(3) Å, c = 6.141(2) Å
Ratio:a:b:c = 0.61 : 1 : 0.723
Unit Cell Volume:V 270.08 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:4
Morphology:Crystal morphology extremely varied. Simple crystals often tabular {010} and elongated [001] or [100]. Also equant or dipyramidal and then pseudo-hexagonal. Rarely acicular [001] or very thin tabular {001}. {010} and {0kl} usually striated [100]; {111} often striated [110] or [112]. Reticular twin aggregates common. Massive, granular, dense, compact. Stalactitic at times; pulverulent to earthy. Fibrous rare.
Twinning:Almost universal. Most commonly on {110}, as twin lamellae or as contact twin types producing stellate pseudo-hexagonal groups or reticulated aggregates. On {130} less common, mainly as contact twins with a heart-shaped outline. Both laws may occur simultaneously.
Comment:Non-standard space group setting (Pmcn). Other source gives cell parameters 5.173, 8.48, 6.13 A.
Crystal Atlas:
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Cerussite no.48 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Cerussite no.63 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Cerussite no.140 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Cerussite no.157 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Cerussite no.261 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Cerussite no.460 - 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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Edge Lines | Miller Indicies | Axes

Transparency
Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

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Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
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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
3.593 (100)
3.498 (43)
3.074 (24)
2.522 (20)
2.487 (32)
2.081 (27)
1.859 (21)

Optical Data of Cerussite

Type:Biaxial (-)
RI values: nα = 1.803 nβ = 2.074 nγ = 2.076
2V:Measured: 8° to 14°, Calculated: 8°
Maximum Birefringence:δ = 0.273

Chart shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:Very High
Dispersion:relatively strong

Chemical Properties of Cerussite

Formula:
PbCO
 
3
Simplified for copy/paste:PbCO3
Essential elements:C, O, Pb
All elements listed in formula:C, O, Pb

Relationship of Cerussite to other Species

Series:Forms a series with Strontianite (see here)
Member of:Aragonite Group
Other Members of Group:

- +
Aragonite
CaCO
 
3
Strontianite
SrCO
 
3
Witherite
BaCO
 
3
Common Associates:
SmithsoniteSilverPyromorphitePhosgeniteMalachite
LimoniteGalenaAnglesite
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
5.AB.05Calcite
CaCO
 
3
5.AB.05Gaspéite
(Ni,Mg,Fe)CO
 
3
5.AB.05Magnesite
MgCO
 
3
5.AB.05Otavite
CdCO
 
3
5.AB.05Rhodochrosite
MnCO
 
3
5.AB.05Siderite
FeCO
 
3
5.AB.05Smithsonite
ZnCO
 
3
5.AB.05Spherocobaltite
CoCO
 
3
5.AB.10Ankerite
Ca(Fe
2+
 
,Mg)(CO
 
3
)
 
2
5.AB.10Dolomite
CaMg(CO
 
3
)
 
2
5.AB.10Kutnohorite
Ca(Mn,Mg,Fe)(CO
 
3
)
 
2
5.AB.10Minrecordite
CaZn(CO
 
3
)
 
2
5.AB.15Aragonite
CaCO
 
3
5.AB.15Strontianite
SrCO
 
3
5.AB.15Witherite
BaCO
 
3
5.AB.20Vaterite
CaCO
 
3
5.AB.25Huntite
CaMg
 
3
(CO
 
3
)
 
4
5.AB.30Norsethite
BaMg(CO
 
3
)
 
2
5.AB.35Alstonite
BaCa(CO
 
3
)
 
2
5.AB.40Olekminskite
Sr(Sr,Ca,Ba)(CO
 
3
)
 
2
5.AB.40Paralstonite
BaCa(CO
 
3
)
 
2
5.AB.45Barytocalcite
BaCa(CO
 
3
)
 
2
5.AB.50Carbocernaite
(Ca,Na)(Sr,Ce,Ba)(CO
 
3
)
 
2
5.AB.55Benstonite
(Ba,Sr)
 
6
(Ca,Mn)
 
6
Mg(CO
 
3
)
 
13
5.AB.60Juangodoyite
Na
 
2
Cu(CO
 
3
)
 
2
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
11.9.2Hydrocerussite
Pb
 
3
(CO
 
3
)
 
2
(OH)
 
2
11.9.3Dundasite
PbAl
 
2
(CO
 
3
)
 
2
(OH)
 
4
· H
 
2
O
11.9.4Gysinite-(Nd)
Pb(Nd,La)(CO
 
3
)
 
2
(OH) · H
 
2
O
11.9.5Schuilingite-(Nd)
PbCu(Nd,Gd,Sm,Y)(CO
 
3
)
 
3
(OH) · 1.5H
 
2
O
11.9.6Tuliokite
Na
 
6
BaTh(CO
 
3
)
 
6
· 6H
 
2
O
11.9.7Weloganite
Na
 
2
Sr
 
3
Zr(CO
 
3
)
 
6
· 3H
 
2
O
11.9.8Sabinaite
Na
 
4
Zr
 
2
TiO
 
4
(CO
 
3
)
 
4

Other Names for Cerussite

Synonyms:
AcrusiteBlack Lead OreCarbonate of LeadCerusiteLead Spar
White LeadWhite Lead Ore
Other Languages:
Basque:Zerusita
Catalan:Cerussita
Dutch:Cerussiet
French:Cérusite
Céruse
Plomb carbonaté
Plombe blanche
Plomb spathique
German:Cerussit
Acrusit
Bleispath
Bly-Ochra
Bly-Spat
Blyspath
Cerusit
Kohlensaures Blei
Weißbleierz
Weissbleierz
Greek:ψιρύθιου
Hebrew:צרוסיט
Hungarian:Cerusszit
Indonesian:Kerusit
Italian:Cerussite
Latin:Cerussa
Cerussa nativa
Cerussa nativa ex agro Vicentino
Minera plumbi spathacea
Minera spathiforma alba, vel grisea
Plumbum acido aero mineralisatum
Plumbum spathosum
Spatum Plumbi
Polish:Cerusyt
Russian:Церуссит
Simplified Chinese:白铅矿
Slovak:Ceruzit
Spanish:Cerusita
Acrusita
Cerussita
Turkish:Üstübeç
Ukrainian:Церусит
Varieties:
Argentiferous CerussiteChrome-CerussiteZincian Cerussite

Other Information

Fluorescence in UV light:Yellow to golden-yellow, white (best LW UV), also under X-rays.
Thermal Behaviour:Breaks down to a basic carbonate at about 300°, which, in turn, decomposes to PbO at about 500° (?).
Other Information:Soluble in dilute HNO3 with effervescence.

Occurs as alteration pseudomorphs after anglesite, phosgenite, leadhillite, caledonite, hydrocerussite, bournonite, linarite, pyromorphite, vanadinite. Also occurs as incrustation or substitution pseudomorphs after calcite and sphalerite.

Pseudomorphs of pyromorphite, minium, malachite, quartz, galena, limonite, calcite, siderite, phosgenite, dolomite and chrysocolla after crystals of cerussite have been observed.
Health Warning:Contains lead - wash hands after handling, avoid inhaling dust when breaking.
Industrial Uses:Ore of lead, and often also of silver.

References for Cerussite

Reference List:

- +
Conrad Gesner (1565): De Omni Rervm Fossilivm Genere.

Wallerius, J.G (1747) Mineralogia, eller Mineralriket. Stockholm: 295 (as Minera Plumbi spathacea).

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

Bergmann, T. (1780) Opuscula of Tobernus Bergmann: 2: 426 (as Plumbum acido aero mineralisatum).

Beudant, F.S. (1832), Trailé élémentaire de Minéralogie, second edition, 2 volumes: 2: 363 (as Céruse).

Karsten (1832) Journal für Chemie und Physik, Nuremberg: 45: 365.

Haidinger, Wm. (1845) Handbuch der bestimmenden Mineralogie. Vienna: 503 (as Cerussit).

Schrauf (1860) Sitzber. Ak. Wien: 42: 120.

Des Cloizeaux, A. (1867) Nouvelles recherches sur les propriétés optique des cristaux, naturels ou artificiels, et sur les variations que ces propriétés éprouvent sous l’influence de la chaleur. 222pp., Paris. (Institut imperial de France, Mémoires 18): 49.

Koksharov, N. von (1870) Materialien zur Mineralogie Russlands. 11 volumes with atlas, vol. 6: 100.

Joulin (1873) Bull. Soc. chim. phys.: 19[2]: 345.

de Luca (1877) Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences de Paris: 84: 1457.

Brown (1886) American Journal of Science: 32: 377.

Fletcher (1887) Mineralogical Magazine: 7: 187.

Negri (1889) Rivista di mineralogia e cristallografia italiana, Padua: 4: 53.

Traube (1894) Zeitschrift der Deutschen Geologische Gesellschaft, Berlin: 46: 50.

Hobbs (1895) American Journal of Science: 50: 121.

Ohm (1899) Jb. Min., Beil.-Bd.: 13: 31.

Mügge (1901) Jb. Min., Beil.-Bd.: 14: 259.

Panichi (1902) Reale accademia nazionale dei Lincei, Rome, Mem: 4[5a]: 419.

Rogers (1903) American Geologist, Minneapolis: 31: 45.

Warren (1903) American Journal of Science: 16: 337.

Colson (1905) Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences de Paris: 140: 865.

Lacroix (1909): 3: 727.

Doelter, C. (1911) Handbuch der Mineral-chemie (in 4 volumes divided into parts): 1: 510.

Boutwell (1912) USGS Professional Paper 77: 111.

Friedrich (1912) Centralblatt für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie, Stuttgart: 621.

Dübigk (1913) Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie, Beil.-Bd., Heidelberg, Stuttgart: 36: 214.

Goldschmidt, V. (1913) Atlas der Krystallformen. 9 volumes, atlas, and text, vol. 2: 107.

Pilipenko (1915) Bulletin of the Imperial Tomsk University: no. 63 [Min. Abs.: 2: 111 (1923)].

Schrader (1917) USGS Bulletin 624.

Ledoux and Walker (1918) Ottawa Nat.: 32: 7.

Buttgenbach (1920) Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 43: 24.

Stevanovic (1922) Ann. géol. pénin. Balkan.: 7: 85.

Billows (1923) Att. Accad. Veneto.: 14[3]: 89.

Maier (1923) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 58: 75.

Sève (1923) Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 46: 34.

Barthoux (1924) Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 47: 36.

Hintze, Carl (1926) Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1[3A]: 3045.

Shannon (1926) U.S. National Museum Bulletin 131: 240.

Smith (1926) New South Wales Department of Mines, Mineral Resources, no. 34: 93.

Tokody (1926) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 63: 385.

O'Daniel (1930) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 74: 333.

Laskiewicz (1931) Archiwum Mineralogiczne (Towarzystwo Naukowe Warszawsie): 7: 147.

Colby and La Coste (1933) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 84: 300.

Garrido (1934) Bol. Soc. espan. Hist. nat.: 34: 301.

Vavrinecz (1934) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 89: 521

Rottenbach (1937) Inaugural Dissertaton, Bonn.

Tokody (1937) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 96: 325.

Lindsay and Hoyt (1938) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 100: 360.

Tokody (1942) Magyar Tudom. Akad. Mat. Termeszett. Ertisitö, Budapest: 61: 1116.

Amaral (1948) Min. e met., Rio de Janeiro: 13: 59.

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: Halides, Nitrates, Borates, Carbonates, Sulfates, Phosphates, Arsenates, Tungstates, Molybdates, Etc. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged: 200-207.

Reviews in Mineralogy, Mineralogical Society of America: 11.

Sahl, K. (1974): Verfeinerung der Kristallstruktur von Cerussit, PbCO3. Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, 139, 215-222.

Chevrier, G., G. Giester, G. Heger, D. Jarosch, M. Wildner, and J. Zemann (1992): Neutron single-crystal refinement of cerussite, PbCO3, and comparison with other aragonite-type carbonates. Zeitschrift für Kristallographie 199, 67-74.

Martens, W. N.; Rintoul, L.; Kloprogge, J. T.; Frost, R. L. (2004): Single crystal Raman spectroscopy of cerussite. American Mineralogist 89, 352-358.

Alexander A. Kaminskii, Ladislav Bohatý, Hanjo Rhee, André Kaltenbach, Oliver Lux, Hans J. Eichler, Reinhard Rückamp and Petra Becker (2013): Cerussite, PbCO3 - a new Stimulated Raman Scattering (SRS)-active crystal with high-order Stokes and anti-Stokes lasing. Laser Photonics Rev. 7, 425-431.

Best Localities for Cerussite

Best of Species:Cerussite

Internet Links for Cerussite

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  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project
  • American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
  • Cerussite details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
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    Localities for Cerussite

    The map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.
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