Cerussite | Gemopedia

Named for the Latin cerussa, meaning "white lead," cerussite is a lead carbonate mineral. Its crystals form in several different habits when carbonated water interacts with other lead minerals. Prized by mineral collectors for its twinned crystal formation, cerussite is usually transparent to translucent with no color to white, gray, brownish or greenish. Although too soft for jewelry, cerussite is occasionally faceted for collectors; however, it presents challenges to lapidaries due to its soft, brittle nature.
Alternate
Names
White Lead Ore
Colors
Colorless, White, Gray, Brownish, Greenish

Cerussite Classification

Common Name

Cerussite

Species

Cerussite

Variety

Colors

Colorless, White, Gray, Brownish, Greenish

Alternate Names

White Lead Ore

Gemstone Groups

Key Separations

SG, fluorescence, strong fire and mohs hardness

Comments

Cerussite has a high sensitivity to heat. This stone contains lead and special care needs to be used. Always wash your hands after handling.

Cerussite Optical Properties

Transparency

Transparent - Opaque

Refractive Index

Over the Limit 1.804-2.079

Birefringence

0.274

Optic Character

Biaxial

Optic Sign

Negative

Polariscope Reaction

Fluorescence

SWUV: Inert to pale blue or green
LWUV: Inert to bright orange but can be yellow, pink, green and bluish

CCF Reaction

Pleochroism

None

Dispersion

Strength: strong fire Value: 0.055

Comments

Cerussite Chemistry & Crystallography

Chemical Name

lead carbonate

Chemical Formula

PbCO3

Synthesis

Crystal System

Orthorhombic

Classification

Carbonate

Nature

Natural

Crystallinity

Crystalline

Comments

Cerussite Characteristic Physical Properties

Hardness

3-3.5

Streak

White

Specific Gravity

6.46-6.57

Toughness

Poor

Inclusions

Luster

Adamantine

Stability

Poor

Fracture

Conchoidal, Uneven

Cleavage

Good, in two directions, Poor, in two directions

Comments

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