galena - teaching student specimens of the primary ore of lead - Unit of 5 specimens
Galena - PbS
Galena is a very common metallic sulfide. It often occurs in cubic crystals and has good cubic cleavage. It is practically the only source of lead, which is used in huge amounts in storage batteries and in shielding from radioactivity. Its name is the Latin name for lead ore.
Galena is easily identified by students by its density, metallic luster and its cubic cleavage.
This galena comes from the old galena/fluorite mining district at Aouli, Morocco. The complete locality description is Aouli, Mibladen, Aït Oufella Caïdat, Midelt Cercle, Midelt Province, Drâa-Tafilalet Region, Morocco. Whew!
French companies operated mines in the Aouli vein-type lead-zinc deposit from 1923 to 1960, part of a larger lead ore mining area about 16 miles northeast of Midelt in the Middle Atlas Mountains. This area was actively mined until 1975, though local residents occasionally resume small operations.
This is a mineral that is expensive to ship, and it is often offered at a price that makes classroom specimens uneconomical. The pencil is 5 1/2 inches long, for scale. A Moroccan dealer had only one box this year at the trade fair at Quartzsite, Arizona, and none was offered at Tucson, since many dealers were unable to travel. We took what we could get. There is some included milky quartz in this galena. Hopefully, the price will come down as travel opens up next year and we'll see the usual number of Moroccan suppliers.
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