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This page kindly sponsored by Bill Cordua
Metallic, Dull
Specific Gravity:
Crystal System:
Member of:
Named by Pliny the Elder in 77-79 from the Greek "galene" meaning "lead ore".
Galena Group.

Galena is the primary ore mineral of lead. Worked for its lead content as early as 3000 BC, it is found in ore veins with sphalerite, pyrite, chalcopyrite, tennantite-tetrahedrite, etc. and in skarns, as well as in sedimentary rocks where it may replace carbonate beds or be deposited in pore spaces. The crystals are bright when fresh but often tarnish after exposure to air.

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Classification of GalenaHide

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)

2 : SULFIDES and SULFOSALTS (sulfides, selenides, tellurides; arsenides, antimonides, bismuthides; sulfarsenites, sulfantimonites, sulfbismuthites, etc.)
C : Metal Sulfides, M: S = 1: 1 (and similar)
D : With Sn, Pb, Hg, etc.

8 : AmXp, with m:p = 1:1

3 : Sulphides, Selenides, Tellurides, Arsenides and Bismuthides (except the arsenides, antimonides and bismuthides of Cu, Ag and Au, which are included in Section 1)
6 : Sulphides etc. of Sb and Pb

Pronounciation of GalenaHide

PlayRecorded byCountry
Jolyon & Katya RalphUnited Kingdom

Physical Properties of GalenaHide

Metallic, Dull
2½ on Mohs scale
VHN100=79 - 104 kg/mm2 - Vickers
7.58 g/cm3 (Measured)    7.57 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of GalenaHide

Colour in reflected light:
Often will form triangular pits in poorly polished sections.

Chemical Properties of GalenaHide

Common Impurities:

Age distributionHide

Recorded ages:
Neoarchean to Quaternary : 2567 Ma to 0 Ma - based on 26 recorded ages.

Crystallography of GalenaHide

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
m3m (4/m 3 2/m) - Hexoctahedral
Space Group:
Cell Parameters:
a = 5.936 Å
Unit Cell V:
209.16 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Cubes, octahedrons, cube-octahedron combinations and rarely dodecahedrons.
Spinel {111}, Lamellar {114}

Crystallographic forms of GalenaHide

Crystal Atlas:
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Galena no.1 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Galena no.2 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Galena no.4 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Galena no.23 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Galena no.37 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Galena no.45 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Galena no.46 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Galena no.68 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by

Edge Lines | Miller Indicies | Axes

Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation

X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

Image Loading

Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.

Synonyms of GalenaHide

Other Language Names for GalenaHide

Bosnian (Latin Script):Galenit
Low Saxon:Galenit
Norwegian (Bokmål):Blyglans
Serbian (Cyrillic Script):Галенит
Simplified Chinese:方铅矿

Varieties of GalenaHide

Argentiferous GalenaSilver-bearing galena.
Auriferous GalenaA gold-bearing variety of galena.
Bismuthiferous GalenaA variety of galena containing up to 16 weight percent of bismuth.
BlaubleierzGalena pseudomorph after pyromorphite (see also plumbeine). Also used for coatings of epitaxial, oriented films of galena on pyromorphite.

Literally "blue lead ore".
Galène tricotéeLiterally means "knitted galena".

The German name is Strickblende when it occurs with colloform sphalerite or Gestrickter Bleiglanz when no colloform sphalerite is present.
Gestrickter BleiglanzAcicular Galena. Literally means "knitted galena"; a similar designation is Strickblende but that name only can be used when colloform sphalerite is present as well.

The French name is "Galène tricotée".
Johnstonite (of Haidinger)Possibly galena with a supposed excess of S. Mat be a mixture of Galena, Anglesite and/or Sulphur.
PlumbeineGalena pseudomorphs after pyromorphite (identical to Blaubleierz) - originally thought to be a hexagonal polymorph of galena (A. Breithaupt, 1863: Berg. Hütt. Zeit. 22, 36).
Selenian GalenaA selenium-bearing variety of galena.
U-GalenaA variety of Galena containing uranium-derived lead of isotope Pb-206.

Relationship of Galena to other SpeciesHide

Member of:
Other Members of this group:
AlabanditeMnSIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
AltaitePbTeIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
ClausthalitePbSeIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
Oldhamite(Ca,Mg)SIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
Forms a series with:

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Sphalerite2,782 photos of Galena associated with Sphalerite on
Quartz2,635 photos of Galena associated with Quartz on
Calcite1,537 photos of Galena associated with Calcite on
Chalcopyrite1,402 photos of Galena associated with Chalcopyrite on
Pyrite1,345 photos of Galena associated with Pyrite on
Fluorite1,287 photos of Galena associated with Fluorite on
Siderite832 photos of Galena associated with Siderite on
Dolomite621 photos of Galena associated with Dolomite on
Baryte567 photos of Galena associated with Baryte on
Cerussite475 photos of Galena associated with Cerussite on

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

2.CD.05TeallitePbSnS2Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnma
2.CD.10AlabanditeMnSIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
2.CD.10AltaitePbTeIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
2.CD.10ClausthalitePbSeIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
2.CD.10Oldhamite(Ca,Mg)SIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
2.CD.10Keilite(Fe2+,Mg)SIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
2.CD.15aCinnabarHgSTrig. 3 2 : P31 2 1

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)Hide m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m,Pb)11(S,Se)11Tric. 1 : P1

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

3.6.2Ottemannitebeta Sn2S3
3.6.3BerndtiteSnS2Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : P3m1
3.6.4StistaiteSnSbTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
3.6.6ClausthalitePbSeIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
3.6.7AltaitePbTeIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
3.6.9AschamalmitePb6Bi2S9Mon. 2/m
3.6.10Betekhtinite(Cu,Fe)21Pb2S15Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Immm

Fluorescence of GalenaHide

Other InformationHide

Semiconductor - Used as a point contact diode in early radio wireless sets.
Health Risks:
Contains lead - always wash hands after handling. Avoid inhaling dust when breaking. Do not lick or ingest.
Industrial Uses:
Principal ore of lead. Often contains silver and is a frequent ore of that metal as well.

Galena in petrologyHide

An essential component of rock names highlighted in red, an accessory component in rock names highlighted in green.

References for GalenaHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Brown, J.S. (1936) Supergene sphalerite, galena, and willemite at Balmat, NY. Economic Geology: 31: 331-354.
Palache, C., Berman, H., and Frondel, C. (1944) The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana Yale University 1837-1892, Volume I: Elements, Sulfides, Sulfosalts, Oxides. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York. 7th edition, revised and enlarged, 834pp.: 200-204.
Bedarida F. (1965) Osservazioni su fenomeni di sfaldatura in cristalli di galena. Periodico di Mineralogia: 337-354.
Blackburn, W.H. and Schwendeman, J.F. (1977) Trace-element substitution in galena. The Canadian Mineralogist: 15: 365-373.
Steger, H.F. and Desjardins, L.E. (1980) Oxidation of sulfide minerals; V, Galena, sphalerite and chalcocite. The Canadian Mineralogist: 18: 365-372.
Augustithis, S.S. and Vgenopoulos, A. (1982) On the hawleyite-sphalerite-wurtzite-galena paragenesis from Ragada, Komotini, (Rhodope) North Greece. Special Publication of the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits: 2: 413-417.
Franzini M., Troysi M., and Cecchini A.(1984) La microdurezza della galena e le sue variazioni in funzione della temperatura. Rend. Soc. It. Min. Petr.: 39: 717-723.
Tossel, J.A. and Vaughan, D.J. (1987) Electronic structure and the chemical reactivity of the surface of galena. The Canadian Mineralogist: 25: 381-392.
Foord, E.E. & Shawe, D.R. (1989): The Pb-Bi-Ag-Cu-(Hg) chemistry of galena and some associated sulfosalts: A review and some new data from Colorado, California, and Pennsylvania. Canadian Mineralogist 27, 363-382.
Deore, S. and Navrotsky, A. (2006) Oxide melt solution calorimetry of sulfides: Enthalpy of formation of sphalerite, galena, greenockite, and hawleyite. American Mineralogist: 91: 400-403.

Internet Links for GalenaHide

Significant localities for GalenaHide

Showing 28 significant localities out of 25,209 recorded on

This 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.

Locality ListHide

- This locality has map coordinates listed. - This locality has estimated coordinates. ⓘ - Click for further information on this occurrence. ? - Indicates mineral may be doubtful at this locality. - Good crystals or important locality for species. - World class for species or very significant. (TL) - Type Locality for a valid mineral species. (FRL) - First Recorded Locality for everything else (eg varieties). Struck out - Mineral was erroneously reported from this locality. Faded * - Never found at this locality but inferred to have existed at some point in the past (eg from pseudomorphs.)

All localities listed without proper references should be considered as questionable.
  • Carinthia
    • Gailtaler Alpen & Karnische Alpen
      • Bleiberg District
        • Bad Bleiberg
G. Niedermayr, I. Praetzel: Mineralien Kärntens, 1995
        • Kreuth
G. Niedermayr, I. Praetzel: Mineralien Kärntens, 1995
    • Hohe Tauern
      • Malta valley
G. Niedermayr, I. Praetzel: Mineralien Kärntens, 1995
  • Namur Province
    • Andenne
      • Seilles
Harjo Neutkens collection
  • Yukon
    • Mayo Mining District
      • Galena Hill
        • Elsa
CATHRO, R.. Great Mining Camps of Canada 1. The History and Geology of the Keno Hill Silver Camp, Yukon Territory. Geoscience Canada, North America, 33, sep. 2006.; Oscar Jose Tessari (1979) Model Ages and Applied Whole Rock Geochemistry of Ag-Pb-Zn veins, Keno Hill - Galena Hill Mining Camp, Yukon Territory. MSc Thesis, University of British Columbia.
  • Grand Est
    • Bas-Rhin
      • Bruche valley (Breuch valley)
        • Schirmeck
Alain Steinmetz and Thierry Brunsperger Collection
    • Haut-Rhin
      • Cernay
        • Steinbach
          • Silberthal
[var: Argentiferous Galena] J.-L. Hohl: "Minéraux et Mines du Massif Vosgien", Editions du Rhin (Mulhouse), 1994 Mines, mineurs et minéralogie du Silberthal, tomes 1 et 2
Mines, mineurs et minéralogie du Silberthal, tomes 1 et 2
  • Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
    • Var
      • Tanneron
Mari G. (2002), La mine de Fontsante (Var), Le Règne Minéral, n°43, pp: 38-60
  • Baden-Württemberg
    • Wiesloch
No reference listed
  • North Rhine-Westphalia
    • Eifel
      • Düren
        • Untermaubach
Schachner, D., (1961): Blei-Zink-Lagerstätten im Buntsandstein der Triasmulde Maubach-Mechernich-Kall, Der Aufschluss, 10. Sonderheft
  • Co. Longford
    • Ballymahon
      • Keel
Barry Flannery (Personal Collection); Singer, D.A., Berger, V.I., and Moring, B.C., (2009), Sediment-hosted zinc-lead deposits of the world; database and grade and tonnage models: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2009-1252
  • Co. Tipperary
    • Silvermines District
Henwood, W.J. (1871) Transactions of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall 8(1), 105.; Gasparrini, C. (1978) Unpubl. report, Minmet Scientific, Toronto, Canada; Taylor, S. and Andrew, C.J. (1979) Trans. Inst. Mining Metall., sect. B, 88, 125; Economic Geology (1984) 79, pp. 529-548.; Andrew, C.J. (1987) pers. comm.; Ryback, G. Nawaz, R. and Farley, E. (1988) Seventh Supplementary List of British Isles Minerals (Irish). Mineralogical Magazine, vol. 52, n° 365, pp. 267-274.; Moreton, S. (1999) Mineralogical Record, 30, 99-106.
  • Tuscany
    • Lucca Province
      • Apuan Alps
        • Stazzema
European Journal of Mineralogy, 12 (2)
  • Ancash Department
    • Bolognesi Province
      • Huallanca District
        • Huallanca
Fluorite: The Collector's Choice. Extra Lapis English No. 9; Econ Geol (1985) 80:416-478
Mineralogical Record 28, no. 4 (1997)
    • Recuay Province
      • Ticapampa District
Mi.Rec. 28, no.4 (1997)
  • Lima Department
    • Huarochiri Province
      • Casapalca
Mineralogical Record (1997): 28(4).
  • Upper Silesia (Śląskie)
    • Bytom District (Beuthen)
No reference listed; Coppola, V., Boni, M., Gilg, A., and Strzelska-Smakowska, B. (2009): Mineralium Deposita 44, 559-580.
  • Castelo Branco District
    • Covilhã
      • São Francisco de Assis
  • Maramureș Co.
    • Baia Mare (Nagybánya)
      • Chiuzbaia (Kisbánya)
Zsivny, V. and Naray-Szabo, I.V. (1947) Parajamesonit, ein neues Mineral von Kisbanya. Schweizerische mineralogische und petrographische Mitteilungen: 27: 183-189.; Fleischer, M. (1949) New mineral names. American Mineralogist: 34: 133.; Cook N.J. and Damian, G. (1997) New data on "Plumosite" and Other Sulfosalt Minerals from the Herja Vein Deposit, Baia Mare District, Rumania. Geologica Carphathica: 48: 387-399.
  • Far-Eastern Region
    • Primorskiy Kray
      • Kavalerovo Mining District
        • Dal'negorsk (Dalnegorsk; Tetyukhe; Tjetjuche; Tetjuche)
[MinRec 32:9]; Rogulina, L.I., and Sveshnikova, O.L. (2008): Geology of Ore Deposits 50(1), 60-74.; Dobovol'skaya, M. G., Baskina, V. A., Balashova, S. P., Kenisarin, A. M., Arakelyants, M. M., Klimachev, L. A., & Muravitskaya, G. N. (1990). Order of Formation of the Ores and Mafic Dikes of the Nikolayevsk Deposit (Southern Primor'ye). International Geology Review, 32(4), 391-403.
South Africa
  • Gauteng Province
    • Witwatersrand field
      • West Rand District (West Rand)
        • Far West Rand (West Wits Line)
          • Western Sector
            • Carletonville
[MinRec 32:177]
  • England
    • Co. Durham
      • North Pennines
        • Weardale
          • Ireshopeburn
Fluorite: The Collector's Choice. Extra Lapis English No. 9
    • Cumbria
      • Alston Moor District
        • Nenthead
Dunham Sir K C, Geology of the Northern Pennine Orefield, Vol 1, Tyne to Stainmore. HMSO
  • Connecticut
    • Litchfield Co.
      • Thomaston
        • Thomaston Dam
Fluorite: The Collector's Choice. Extra Lapis English No. 9; Rocks & Minerals (1995) 70:396-409; Segeler, Curt and Molon, Joseph. (1985), The Thomaston Dam Site, Thomaston, Connecticut; Rocks & Minerals: 60(3): 119-124.; Vogt, Wolfgang. (1991), Rediscovering Thomaston Dam. Lapidary Journal: April.; Zodac, Peter. (1959), Minerals at Thomaston Dam, Connecticut; Rocks & Minerals: 34: 3.
  • Missouri
    • Reynolds Co.
      • Viburnum Trend District
        • Ellington
Rocks & Min.: 64:22&26.; U.S. Geological Survey, 2005, Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.; Econ.Geol.: 83; 355-376; Econ Geol (1993) 88:957-960; Econ Geol. (1995) 90:1875-1910
  • New York
    • Ulster Co.
      • Wawarsing
        • Ellenville
Dana 7:I:592.; Econ Geol (1990) 85:182-196
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