Mineral description : Sphalerite

Sphalerite (black) and flourite (light blue) from Åkerlandet, Dorotea, Västerbotten.

Sphalerite from Sala silver mine, Västmanland.

Mineral class Sulphides : Sphalerite - wurtzite group
Chemical formula ZnFeS
Crystal system Cubic
Habitus Crystals tetraedic with rounded corners. Often in massive, grainy or coarse masses.
Cleavage Good.
Hardness 3.5
Density 3.9-4.2
Color Yellow to black.
Streak Brownish.
Luster Diamond
Occurance Common in hydrothermal veins. Also common in sedimentary and contact metamorphic layers (scarn).
Associates Other sulphides, flourite.
Notes Soluble in hydrocloric acid.
In swedish : zinkblände.
Locations A common mineral
  • Bergslagen mining field. Common in many mines.
  • Skellefte mining field. Common in many mines.
  • Åkerlandet, Dorothea. With flourite, sometimes in crystals.
  • Sala silver mine, Sala. About half of the silver was contained in the sphalerite.
  • Nordmark, Värmland. Up to 5cm big tetraedic crystals.

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Last changed : 1998-03-07