galena on barite

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Description

specimen of galena on barite

Mineral Group  sulphide
Composition  PbS
dimension (cm)  3.5x3x2.5
weight (g)  40
Galena has been recovered since ancient times and it is mentioned by writers of that period. It is known that lead was obtained from galena in those times because the process of extracting it was very easy. The Babylonians made lead vases and the Romans used lead to make water pipes. After the invention of letterpress printing, lead began to be extensively used as the basis of type metal. In the early days of wireless communications, galena crystals were used in radio receivers.
Galena is a common mineral of ore veins of various compositions. It occurs in conspicuously granular form or as cubic crystals. It has a perfect cleavage, and often crumbles readily into small cubes when struck. It is rather heavy. The largest galena deposits are in the valleys of the Missouri and Mississippi in the USA and in Europe at Bleiberg in Carinthia (Austria) and at Bytom in Upper Silesia (Poland). Galena is also mined at Pribram and Stribro (Czech Republic). The largest galena crystals, up to 25 cm in size, have been found in the Isle of Man (UK). Galena is the most important ore of lead, of which it contains nearly 87 per cent. Apart from the manufacture of type metal, lead today is principally used for cable covering, accumulator plates and as shielding for radioactive substances. Its compounds are used for the manufacture of paints, particularly white and red, and also for lead glass and enamel. Because of its widespread occurrence, galena is also the most common ore of silver, though its silver content is not greater than 0.5 per cent.
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Additional information

Weight 40 g
Dimensions 3.5 x 3 x 2.5 cm