Mineral description : Smithsonite

A botryoidal crust of blue smithsonite from Cornwall, England.
Size 7x5x4 cm. (description)
Yellow balls of smithsonite with fluorite and sphalerite. From Åkerlandet, Sweden.
Size 5x3x2 cm.
Hemimorphite on green smithsonite. From Mexico.
Size 7x4x3.5 cm. (description)

Mineral class Carbonates : Cerrusite - Malachite - Hydrozincite group
Chemical formula Zn(CO3)
Crystal system Trigonal (rhomboedral).
Habitus Often as derb, botryoidal or earthy aggregates. Often banded. More rarely as rhombohedral crystals with curved surfaces. Also as scalenohedral crystals.
Cleavage Perfect in three directions, uneven fracture.
Hardness 4.5 - 5
Density 4.43
Color Colorless to white, yellow, green, blue, gray or brown.
Streak White.
Luster Vitreous to pearly or silky, translucent.
Description A secondary zinc mineral that is used as a minor zinc ore and for mineral samples.
Occurance Forms in the oxidation zone of zinc or copper-zinc ores.
Associates Pyromorphite, malachite, azurite, cerussite and hemimorphite.
Notes Named after the founder of the Smithsonian institute, James Smithson.
Soluble in warm hydrochloric acid under effervescense (bubbles).
Localities A rare mineral in Scandinavia.

Sweden :

  • Garpenberg, Dalarna. In .... vittrade mullmalmer...
  • Åkerlandet, Lappland. With sphalerite and fluorite in calcite filled fractures.

Norway :

  • In the Oslo field. As an alteration product of sphalerite.
  • Skjerpemyr, Grua.
  • Mosbergvik.
  • Fauske. As clear crystals.

Finland : (Sorry if the names are messed up, but I don't speak Finnish)

  • Kiskon, Orijärvi. As a secondary mineral.

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Last changed : 2001-10-31