Cerussite Gemstone & Information | Gemopedia by JTV | 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.
Colorless, White, Gray, Brownish, Greenish
Cerussite classificationCommonNameCerussiteSpeciesCerussiteVarietyColorsColorless, White, Gray, Brownish, GreenishAlternateNamesWhite Lead OreGemstoneGroupsKeySeparationsSG, fluorescence, strong fire and mohs hardnessClassificationCommentsCerussite has a high sensitivity to heat. This stone contains lead and special care needs to be used. Always wash your hands after handling.
Cerussite chemistry & crystallographyChemicalNamelead carbonateChemicalFormulaPbCO3SynthesisCrystalSystemOrthorhombicChemistryClassificationCarbonateNatureNaturalCrystallinityCrystallineChemistryComments
Cerussite optical propertiesTransparencyTransparent - OpaqueDispersionStrength: strong fire Value: 0.055OpticalCommentsRefractiveIndexOver the Limit 1.804-2.079Birefringence0.274OpticCharacterBiaxialOpticSignNegativePolariscopeReactionFluorescenceSWUV: Inert to pale blue or green
LWUV: Inert to bright orange but can be yellow, pink, green and bluishCCFReactionPleochroismNone
Cerussite characteristic physical propertiesHardness3-3.5CharacteristicCommentsStreakWhiteSpecificGravity6.46-6.57ToughnessPoorInclusionsLusterAdamantineStabilityPoorFractureConchoidal, UnevenCleavageGood, in two directions, Poor, in two directions