Main index --- Minerals list --- Metal ores index galena
Derivation:From "galena" (Latin) lead ore
Formula: PbS
Description: Shiny with square crystals interlocking with each other. The thing you notice most with galena is how heavy it is. Gold has a higher specific gravity, but you don't get to hold large lumps of gold!

As you can see for the derivation, Galena has been a lead ore for a long time. The Latin word for lead is "plumbum", which is where "plumber" comes from. Lead was used for many things, such as water pipes and children's toys, as it's very soft and easy to work. This is a seriously bad idea, as it is poisonous. It has been suggested that the downfall of the Roman empire was partly due to lead-poisoning from their water pipes. Now, copper is used instead. In modern times, lead-free petrol has been introduced, as people living near busy roads were absorbing lead from the exhaust fumes of cars.

Galena was used as as an early cosmetic like cerussite.

Nowadays, lead is used in storage batteries.

Larger pictures of Galena:

The first specimen shows Galena crystals.


The second specimen shows how shiny Galena can be.