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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.
Sub-Vitreous, Resinous, Waxy, Greasy
3½ - 4
Specific Gravity:
Crystal System:
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:
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).

A rather stable Pb phase also forming in contaminated urban and industrial soils, was shown by Sayer et al. (1999) to be solubilized by organic-acid-forming fungi (Aspergillus niger), thus forming oxalates: 'Unnamed (Pb Oxalate)' and 'Unnamed (Pb Oxalate Dihydrate)'. These oxalates, although insoluble and thus immobilizing Pb, are predicted to be thermodynamically unstable in many soils.

Visit for gemological information about Pyromorphite.

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Classification of PyromorphiteHide

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

B : Phosphates, etc., with additional anions, without H2O
N : With only large cations, (OH, etc.):RO4 = 0.33:1
Dana 7th ed.:

8 : A5(XO4)3Zq

22 : Phosphates, Arsenates or Vanadates with other Anions
2 : Phosphates, arsenates or vanadates with chloride

Physical Properties of PyromorphiteHide

Sub-Vitreous, Resinous, Waxy, Greasy
Transparent, Translucent
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.
Colorless when pure
3½ - 4 on Mohs scale
Hardness Data:
In traces on {1011}.
Irregular/Uneven, Sub-Conchoidal
7.04 g/cm3 (Measured)    7.109 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of PyromorphiteHide

Uniaxial (-)
RI values:
nω = 2.058 nε = 2.048
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.010
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Very High
Optical Extinction:
Visible in tinted material in transmitted light.
May be anomalously biaxial -, sectored.

Chemical Properties of PyromorphiteHide

Common Impurities:

Crystallography of PyromorphiteHide

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
6/m - Dipyramidal
Space Group:
Cell Parameters:
a = 9.987 Å, c = 7.33 Å
a:c = 1 : 0.734
Unit Cell V:
633.15 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
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.
Very rare on {1122}{1010} at Puech de Compolibat (Mills et al., 2012)

Crystallographic forms of PyromorphiteHide

Crystal Atlas:
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Pyromorphite no.6 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Pyromorphite no.7 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Pyromorphite no.12 - 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

Epitaxial Relationships of PyromorphiteHide

Epitaxial Minerals:
Epitaxy 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 DiffractionHide

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Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
Powder Diffraction Data:
Data given are for synthetic material.

Type Occurrence of PyromorphiteHide

Synonyms of PyromorphiteHide

Other Language Names for PyromorphiteHide

Varieties of PyromorphiteHide

Ca-bearing PyromorphiteA "calcium-bearing variety of pyromorphite", although samples from several occurrences are now known to be in fact the species phosphohedyphane.
CollieiteA vanadian and calcian variety which contains approximately 4.1% V2O5.
Originally reported from Leadhills, Scotland, UK.
Germanate-pyromorphiteAn artificial analogue of Pyromorphite
NussièriteA local designation for pyromorphite containing minor arsenate.
Originally described from Nuizière (Nuissière Mine), Chenelette, Beaujeu, Rhône, Rhône-Alpes, France.

Relationship of Pyromorphite to other SpeciesHide

Other Members of this group:
AlforsiteBa5(PO4)3ClHex. 6/m : P63/m
ChlorapatiteCa5(PO4)3ClHex. 6/m : P63/m
FluorapatiteCa5(PO4)3FHex. 6/m : P63/m
HydroxylapatiteCa5(PO4)3(OH)Hex. 6/m : P63/m
JohnbaumiteCa5(AsO4)3OHHex. 6/m : P63/m
MimetitePb5(AsO4)3ClHex. 6/m : P63/m
PieczkaiteMn5(PO4)3ClHex. 6/m : P63/m
StronadelphiteSr5(PO4)3FHex. 6/m : P63/m
SvabiteCa5(AsO4)3FHex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
Unnamed (F-analogue of Pyromorphite)Pb5(PO4)3F
Unnamed (OH-analogue of Mimetite)Pb5(AsO4)3(OH)
VanadinitePb5(VO4)3ClHex. 6/m : P63/m
Forms a series with:

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Quartz408 photos of Pyromorphite associated with Quartz on
Plumbogummite260 photos of Pyromorphite associated with Plumbogummite on
Wulfenite247 photos of Pyromorphite associated with Wulfenite on
Cerussite227 photos of Pyromorphite associated with Cerussite on
Crocoite171 photos of Pyromorphite associated with Crocoite on
Baryte124 photos of Pyromorphite associated with Baryte on
Malachite119 photos of Pyromorphite associated with Malachite on
Galena81 photos of Pyromorphite associated with Galena on
Goethite58 photos of Pyromorphite associated with Goethite on
Fluorite45 photos of Pyromorphite associated with Fluorite on

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

8.BN.05AlforsiteBa5(PO4)3ClHex. 6/m : P63/m
8.BN.05Belovite-(Ce)NaCeSr3(PO4)3FTrig. 3 : P3
8.BN.05Carbonate-rich FluorapatiteCa5(PO4,CO3)3(F,O)Hex.
8.BN.05Carbonate-rich HydroxylapatiteCa5(PO4,CO3)3(OH,O)Hex.
8.BN.05ChlorapatiteCa5(PO4)3ClHex. 6/m : P63/m
8.BN.05Mimetite-MPb5(AsO4)3ClMon. 2/m : P21/b
8.BN.05Johnbaumite-MCa5(AsO4)3OHMon. 2/m : P21/m
8.BN.05FluorapatiteCa5(PO4)3FHex. 6/m : P63/m
8.BN.05HedyphaneCa2Pb3(AsO4)3ClHex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
8.BN.05HydroxylapatiteCa5(PO4)3(OH)Hex. 6/m : P63/m
8.BN.05JohnbaumiteCa5(AsO4)3OHHex. 6/m : P63/m
8.BN.05MimetitePb5(AsO4)3ClHex. 6/m : P63/m
8.BN.05FluorstrophiteSrCaSr3(PO4)3FHex. 6/m : P63/m
8.BN.05SvabiteCa5(AsO4)3FHex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
8.BN.05VanadinitePb5(VO4)3ClHex. 6/m : P63/m
8.BN.05Belovite-(La)NaLaSr3(PO4)3FTrig. 3 : P3
8.BN.05FluorcaphiteSrCaCa3(PO4)3FHex. 6/m : P63/m
8.BN.05Kuannersuite-(Ce)NaCeBa3(PO4)3F0.5Cl0.5Trig. 3 : P3
8.BN.05Hydroxylapatite-MCa5(PO4)3OHMon. 2/m : P21/b
8.BN.05PhosphohedyphaneCa2Pb3(PO4)3ClHex. 6/m : P63/m
8.BN.05StronadelphiteSr5(PO4)3FHex. 6/m : P63/m
8.BN.05FluorphosphohedyphaneCa2Pb3(PO4)3FHex. 6/m : P63/m
8.BN.05Carlgieseckeite-(Nd)NaNdCa3(PO4)3FTrig. 3 : P3
8.BN.05Miyahisaite(Sr,Ca)2Ba3(PO4)3F Hex. 6/m : P63/m
8.BN.10ArctiteNa2Ca4(PO4)3FTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)Hide 6/m : P63/m 6/m : P63/m 6/m : P63/m

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

22.2.1SampleiteNaCaCu5(PO4)4Cl · 5H2OOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Cmmm
22.2.2LavendulanNaCaCu5(AsO4)4Cl · 5H2OMon. 2/m
22.2.3ChlorapatiteCa5(PO4)3ClHex. 6/m : P63/m
22.2.5ShubnikoviteCa2Cu8(AsO4)6(OH)Cl · 7H2O
22.2.6RichelsdorfiteCa2Cu5Sb(AsO4)4(OH)6Cl · 6H2OMon. 2/m
22.2.7AlforsiteBa5(PO4)3ClHex. 6/m : P63/m
22.2.10MimetitePb5(AsO4)3ClHex. 6/m : P63/m
22.2.11Mimetite-MPb5(AsO4)3ClMon. 2/m : P21/b
22.2.14VanadinitePb5(VO4)3ClHex. 6/m : P63/m
22.2.16LeningraditePbCu3(VO4)2ClOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Ibam
22.2.17HedyphaneCa2Pb3(AsO4)3ClHex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
22.2.18NealitePb4Fe2+(As3+O3)2Cl4 · 2H2OTric. 1 : P1

Fluorescence of PyromorphiteHide

May be yellow to orange in SW and LW

Other InformationHide

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

References for PyromorphiteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
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.
Sayer, J.A., Cotter-Howells, J.D., Watson, C., Hillier, S., Gadd, G.M. (1999) Lead mineral transformation by fungi. Current Biology: 13(1): 691-694.
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.

Internet Links for PyromorphiteHide

Localities for PyromorphiteHide

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.

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