This gleaming Galena specimen comes to you from the Galena Queen Mine, near Ironton, Colorado, and it’s now waiting to come home with you

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Galena has a hardness of 2½ and a specific gravity of 7.60. It was first named nearly 2,000 years ago by Pliny the Elder in 77-79AD from the Greek “galene” meaning “lead ore”. According to Mindat, “it is found in ore veins with sphalerite, pyrite, chalcopyrite, tennantite-tetrahedrite, etc. and in skarns, as well as in sedimentary rocks where it may replace carbonate beds or be deposited in pore spaces. The crystals are bright when fresh but often tarnish after exposure to air.”

As Galena is the primary ore for Lead, and has been worked for more than 5,000 years for that reason, this would make for a perfect sample for element collectors!

With more than 28,000 known localities around the world, it’s quite likely you can find some near to you, and as well as on your next hike – if you keep an eye out for a mineral like this! While Lead itself isn’t a very valuable metal, as it’s often found with other associated metals, you may just discover a new Zinc, Cadmium, or possibly even Silver and Gold mine, as well!


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