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Galena is found as attractive mineral specimens. Its cubic structure with perfect 90-degree cleavage planes along with its bright silver like metallic luster is eye catching. Most galena is mined as a lead ore. Argentiferous Galena is sought after for its silver content and greatly increases its ore value.

Galena Rough
Galena Classification
Common Name Galena
Species Galena
Galena Optical Properties
Transparency Opaque
Dispersion Strength: None
Fluorescence SWUV: Inert
LWUV: Inert
Galena Characteristic Physical Properties
Hardness 2.5-2.75
Streak lead-gray
Specific Gravity 7.58
Toughness Poor
Luster Dull, Metallic
Stability Poor
Fracture Conchoidal
Cleavage Perfect 90-degree
Galena Chemistry & Crystallography
Chemical Name lead sulfide
Chemical Formula PbS
Crystal System Cubic
Chemistry Classification Native Element

Galena Colors

  • Gray Galena Gray

Countries of Origin

Romania; United States of America (the); Portugal; Canada; Austria; Belgium; Ireland; Russian Federation (the); Poland; Italy; Mexico; South Africa; France; Peru; Germany; United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)


Galena has been used as a lead ore for thousands of years due to its low melting point of 327 °C (621 °F) . A smelting site has been dated to 6500 BC in Turkey.


Galena is very soft and has perfect cleavage. Care must be taken not to damage the crystals. The mineral will tarnish if exposed to the elements. It is a lead sulfide mineral so please wash hands after handling.

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Tim Matthews


Tim Matthews

Tim Matthews is President and Chief Executive Officer of Jewelry Television® (JTV), as well as a member of the company's Board of Directors. He oversees and leads all aspects of the company's powerful omni-digital retail platform that uniquely specializes in fine jewelry and gemstones. His passion for business and gemstones has led him to become a recognized expert in the field of gemology. He is a life member of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) and has earned Gem-A's highest degrees, the Gemmology (FGA) and Diamond (DGA) diplomas. He is also a Graduate Gemologist (GG) of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and has also completed GIA's Graduate Diplomas in Diamonds, Colored Stones and Pearls. Under his leadership, JTV has become the leader in the sourcing and selling of color gemstones and jewelry.

This page was created on June 27, 2014.

This page was last edited on October 24, 2019.