Cerussite Gemstone & Information | Gemopedia by JTV | Gemopedia™

Cerussite

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.

Colors

Colorless, White, Gray, Brownish, Greenish

  • Cerussite classification

    CommonName
    Cerussite
    Species
    Cerussite
    Variety
    Colors
    Colorless, White, Gray, Brownish, Greenish
    AlternateNames
    White Lead Ore
    GemstoneGroups
    KeySeparations
    SG, fluorescence, strong fire and mohs hardness
    ClassificationComments
    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 chemistry & crystallography

    ChemicalName
    lead carbonate
    ChemicalFormula
    PbCO3
    Synthesis
    CrystalSystem
    Orthorhombic
    ChemistryClassification
    Carbonate
    Nature
    Natural
    Crystallinity
    Crystalline
    ChemistryComments
  • Cerussite optical properties

    Transparency
    Transparent - Opaque
    Dispersion
    Strength: strong fire Value: 0.055
    OpticalComments
    RefractiveIndex
    Over the Limit 1.804-2.079
    Birefringence
    0.274
    OpticCharacter
    Biaxial
    OpticSign
    Negative
    PolariscopeReaction
    Fluorescence
    SWUV: Inert to pale blue or green
    LWUV: Inert to bright orange but can be yellow, pink, green and bluish
    CCFReaction
    Pleochroism
    None
  • Cerussite characteristic physical properties

    Hardness
    3-3.5
    CharacteristicComments
    Streak
    White
    SpecificGravity
    6.46-6.57
    Toughness
    Poor
    Inclusions
    Luster
    Adamantine
    Stability
    Poor
    Fracture
    Conchoidal, Uneven
    Cleavage
    Good, in two directions, Poor, in two directions