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Sphalerite Group

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A = Cd, Hg, Zn, Mn, Fe, Cu; X = S, Se, Te
The diamond structure has two interpenetrating cubic close packed carbon lattices. Each atom of theses lattices is tetrahedrally coordinated by 4 atoms of the other lattice. If one of these lattices is replaced by cations (A) and the other replaced by anions (X), where X = S, Se, Te we get the sphalerite group.

Although the members can be lab grown as solution series, geochemical segregation usually gives fairly pure end members.

Compare Wurtzite Group.

Classification of Sphalerite Group

Chemical Properties of Sphalerite Group


A = Cd, Hg, Zn, Mn, Fe, Cu; X = S, Se, Te

Crystallography of Sphalerite Group

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
4 3m - Hextetrahedral
Composite and twinned crystals are common.

Relationship of Sphalerite Group to other Species

Group Members:
Browneite MnS
Coloradoite HgTe
Hawleyite CdS
Ishiharaite (Cu,Ga,Fe,In,Zn)S
Metacinnabar HgS
Rudashevskyite (Fe,Zn)S
Sphalerite ZnS
Stilleite ZnSe
Tiemannite HgSe

Other Information

Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

Internet Links for Sphalerite Group URL:
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Localities for Sphalerite Group

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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