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Known for its striking orange, yellow and red hues, nice luster and unique crystal habits, wulfenite is a lead molybdate that is found in the oxidation zone of lead-ore deposits. Wulfenite typically forms thin, tabular crystals and therefore, acquiring a crystal thick enough to fashion into a gem is challenging. In addition, great care must be taken during the faceting process because wulfenite is a delicate mineral.

Wulfenite Polished
Wulfenite Classification
Common Name Wulfenite
Species Wulfenite
Wulfenite Optical Properties
Transparency Transparent - Translucent
Dispersion Strength: Strong Fire Value: 0.203
Refractive Index Over The Limit 2.280-2.400
Birefringence 0.12-0.122
Optic Character Uniaxial
Optic Sign Negative
Polariscope Reaction Aggregate (AGG), Doubly Refractive (DR)
Fluorescence SWUV: Inert to weak yellow, orange or red
LWUV: Inert to weak red
Pleochroism Unobservable
Wulfenite Characteristic Physical Properties
Hardness 3
Streak White
Specific Gravity 6.500-7.000
Toughness Poor
Luster Adamantine, Resinous
Fracture Uneven, Subconchoidal
Cleavage Good, in one direction, Poor, in two directions
Wulfenite Chemistry & Crystallography
Chemical Name lead molybdate
Chemical Formula PbMoO4
Crystal System Tetragonal

Wulfenite Colors

  • Black Wulfenite Black
  • Orange Wulfenite Orange
  • Brown Wulfenite Brown
  • Red Wulfenite Red
  • Green Wulfenite Green
  • Colorless Wulfenite Colorless
  • Gray Wulfenite Gray
  • White Wulfenite White

Countries of Origin

United States of America (the); Namibia; Mexico


Very soft , careful handling

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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.