SUPPORT US. Covid-19 has significantly affected our fundraising. Please help!
Log InRegister
Home PageAbout MindatThe Mindat ManualHistory of MindatCopyright StatusWho We AreContact UsAdvertise on Mindat
Donate to MindatCorporate SponsorshipSponsor a PageSponsored PagesMindat AdvertisersAdvertise on Mindat
Learning CenterWhat is a mineral?The most common minerals on earthInformation for EducatorsMindat ArticlesThe ElementsBooks & Magazines
Minerals by PropertiesMinerals by ChemistryAdvanced Locality SearchRandom MineralRandom LocalitySearch by minIDLocalities Near MeSearch ArticlesSearch GlossaryMore Search Options
Search For:
Mineral Name:
Locality Name:
The Mindat ManualAdd a New PhotoRate PhotosLocality Edit ReportCoordinate Completion ReportAdd Glossary Item
Mining CompaniesStatisticsUsersMineral MuseumsMineral Shows & EventsThe Mindat DirectoryDevice Settings
Photo SearchPhoto GalleriesNew Photos TodayNew Photos YesterdayMembers' Photo GalleriesPast Photo of the Day GalleryMineral Photography


This page kindly sponsored by Bill Cordua
Hide all sections | Show all sections

About GalenaHide

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.

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 27 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-type {111}, lamellar {114}

Crystallographic forms of GalenaHide

Crystal Atlas:
Image Loading
Click on an icon to view
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 Indices | Axes

Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

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

Crystal StructureHide

Unit Cell | Unit Cell Packed
2x2x2 | 3x3x3 | 4x4x4
Big Balls | Small Balls | Just Balls | Spacefill
Polyhedra Off | Si Polyhedra | All Polyhedra
Remove metal-metal sticks
Display Options
Black Background | White Background
Perspective On | Perspective Off
2D | Stereo | Red-Blue | Red-Cyan
CIF File    Best | x | y | z | a | b | c
Stop | Start
Console Off | On | Grey | Yellow
IDSpeciesReferenceLinkYearLocalityPressure (GPa)Temp (K)
0000003GalenaRamsdell L S (1925) The crystal structures of some metallic sulfides American Mineralogist 10 281-3041925Colorado, USA0293
0010042GalenaNoda Y, Masumoto K, Ohba S, Saito Y, Toriumi K, Iwata Y, Shibuya I (1987) Temperature dependence of atomic thermal parameters of lead chalcogenides, PbS, PbSe and PbTe Acta Crystallographica C43 1443-14451987synthetic0293
0010043GalenaNoda Y, Masumoto K, Ohba S, Saito Y, Toriumi K, Iwata Y, Shibuya I (1987) Temperature dependence of atomic thermal parameters of lead chalcogenides, PbS, PbSe and PbTe Acta Crystallographica C43 1443-14451987synthetic0293
0010044GalenaNoda Y, Masumoto K, Ohba S, Saito Y, Toriumi K, Iwata Y, Shibuya I (1987) Temperature dependence of atomic thermal parameters of lead chalcogenides, PbS, PbSe and PbTe Acta Crystallographica C43 1443-14451987synthetic0293
0010045GalenaNoda Y, Masumoto K, Ohba S, Saito Y, Toriumi K, Iwata Y, Shibuya I (1987) Temperature dependence of atomic thermal parameters of lead chalcogenides, PbS, PbSe and PbTe Acta Crystallographica C43 1443-14451987synthetic0293
0010046GalenaNoda Y, Masumoto K, Ohba S, Saito Y, Toriumi K, Iwata Y, Shibuya I (1987) Temperature dependence of atomic thermal parameters of lead chalcogenides, PbS, PbSe and PbTe Acta Crystallographica C43 1443-14451987synthetic0293
0011372GalenaWyckoff R W G (1963) Second edition. Interscience Publishers, New York, New York rocksalt structure Crystal Structures 1 85-23719630293
CIF Raw Data - click here to close

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

Low Saxon/Low German:Galenit
Simplified Chinese:方铅矿

Varieties of GalenaHide

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.
Galène tricotéeLiterally means "knitted galena".
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.
Gold-bearing GalenaA gold-bearing variety of galena; probably microscopic or nano-inclusions of gold or gold-bearingminerals in the galena.
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.
Silver-bearing GalenaSilver-bearing galena. Usually, the silver is present as tiny inclusions of various silver sulphosalts.
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:
2,782 photos of Galena associated with SphaleriteZnS
2,635 photos of Galena associated with QuartzSiO2
1,537 photos of Galena associated with CalciteCaCO3
1,402 photos of Galena associated with ChalcopyriteCuFeS2
1,345 photos of Galena associated with PyriteFeS2
1,287 photos of Galena associated with FluoriteCaF2
832 photos of Galena associated with SideriteFeCO3
621 photos of Galena associated with DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
567 photos of Galena associated with BaryteBaSO4
475 photos of Galena associated with CerussitePbCO3

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

2.CD.05HerzenbergiteSnSOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
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

3.6.1HerzenbergiteSnSOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
3.6.2OttemanniteSn2S3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
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
3.6.11Shadlunite(Pb,Cd)(Fe,Cu)8S8Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m

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.
Lueth, V.W., Megaw, P.K.M., Pingitore, N.E., Goodell, P.C. (2000): Systematic variation in galena solid-solution compositions at Santa Eulalia, Chihuahua, Mexico. Economic Geology 95, 1673-1687.
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.
George, L., Cook, N.J., Ciobanu, C.L., Wade, B.P. (2015): Trace and minor elements in galena: A reconnaissance LA-ICP-MS study. American Mineralogist, 100, 548-569.

Internet Links for GalenaHide

Significant localities for GalenaHide

Showing 29 significant localities out of 27,133 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
    • Spittal an der Drau District
G. Niedermayr, I. Praetzel: Mineralien Kärntens, 1995
    • Villach-Land District
      • Bad Bleiberg
G. Niedermayr, I. Praetzel: Mineralien Kärntens, 1995
      • Nötsch im Gailtal
        • Kreuth
G. Niedermayr, I. Praetzel: Mineralien Kärntens, 1995
  • Wallonia
    • Namur
      • Andenne
        • Seilles
Harjo Neutkens collection; Hatert, F., Deliens, M., Fransolet, A.-M., Van Der Meersche, E. (2002) Les minéraux de Belgique. 2ème édition, Muséum des Sciences Naturelles, Bruxelles, Belgium, 304 pages (in French).
  • 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
      • Molsheim
        • Schirmeck
Alain Steinmetz and Thierry Brunsperger Collection
    • Haut-Rhin
      • Thann-Guebwiller
        • Steinbach
          • Silberthal
[var: Silver-bearing 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
Belot, Victor R. (1978) Guide des minéraux, coquillages et fossiles: où les trouver en France, comment les reconnaître et les collectionner (Guides Horay). Pierre Horay (Ed.), 224 pp.; Mari, G. (2002) La mine de Fontsante (Var). Le Règne Minéral, 43, 38-60.
  • Baden-Württemberg
    • Karlsruhe Region
      • Rhein-Neckar-Kreis
        • Wiesloch
No reference listed
  • North Rhine-Westphalia
    • Cologne
      • Düren
        • Untermaubach
Schachner, D. (1961) Die Blei-Zink-Lagerstätten in der Triasmulde Maubach-Mechernich-Kall. Der Aufschluss, 10. Sonderheft.; Meyer, W. (1983) Geologischer Wanderführer: Eifel. Franckh'sche Verlangshandlung W. Keller & Co., Stuttgart.
  • Leinster
    • Longford County
      • 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
  • Munster
    • Tipperary County
      • 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
      • Stazzema
European Journal of Mineralogy, 12 (2)
  • Áncash
    • 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
    • Huarochiri Province
      • Casapalca
Mineralogical Record (1997): 28(4).
  • Silesian Voivodeship
    • Bytom City County
No reference listed; Coppola, V., Boni, M., Gilg, A., and Strzelska-Smakowska, B. (2009): Mineralium Deposita 44, 559-580.
  • Castelo Branco
    • Covilhã
      • São Francisco de Assis
  • Viseu
    • Mangualde
      • Mangualde
        • São Cosmado
Luis Martins in-situ observations
  • Maramureș
    • 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.; Mârza, I.; Tămaș, C.G.; Tetean, R.; Andreica, A.; Denuț, I.; Kovács, R. (2019) Epithermal Bicolor Black and White Calcite Spheres from Herja Ore Deposit, Baia Mare Neogene Ore District, Romania-Genetic Considerations. Minerals 9, 352.
  • Primorsky Krai
    • Dalnegorsk Urban District
      • Dalnegorsk
[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.; Vasilenko, G.P. (2001) The Dalnegorsk Ore District. pp98-124 in Khanchuk, A.I., Gonevchuk, G.A. & Seltmann, R. (Eds) Metallogeny of the Pacific Northwest (Russian Far East): Tectonics, Magmatism and Metallogeny of Active Continental Margins. IAGOD Guidebook series 11, Dalnauka Publishing House, Vladivostok 2004, 176 p
South Africa
  • Gauteng
    • West Rand District (West Rand)
      • Far West Rand (West Wits Line)
        • Western Sector
          • Carletonville
[MinRec 32:177]
  • England
    • County Durham
      • Stanhope
        • Ireshopeburn
Fluorite: The Collector's Choice. Extra Lapis English No. 9
    • Cumbria
      • Eden
        • Alston Moor
          • 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.
      • 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; Hagni, R. (2018). Platy Galena from the Viburnum Trend, Southeast Missouri: Character, Mine Distribution, Paragenetic Position, Trace Element Content, Nature of Twinning, and Conditions of Formation. Minerals, 8(3), 93.
  • New York
    • Ulster Co.
      • Wawarsing
        • Ellenville
Dana 7:I:592.; Econ Geol (1990) 85:182-196
Mineral and/or Locality is an outreach project of the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Public Relations by Blytheweigh.
Copyright © and the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy 1993-2020, except where stated. Most political location boundaries are © OpenStreetMap contributors. relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters.
Privacy Policy - Terms & Conditions - Contact Us Current server date and time: August 10, 2020 17:42:01 Page generated: August 10, 2020 00:49:28
Go to top of page