Pyromorphite

Big Photo

China
0.27 carats
© Giovanni Scapin 2015

Pyromorphite is named from Greek pyr - fire, plus morphe - form, alluding to the crystalline shape assumed by melted globules of the mineral on cooling.

Pyromorphite forms transparent to translucent, brown, green, orange, yellow, colourless, grey, white, short to long prismatic, pyramidial or tabular crystals with vitreous to resinous lustre.

Pyromorphite is a common mineral, but faceted stones are very rare.

General Information
Chemical Formula
Pb
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
Cl
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Photos of natural/un-cut material from mindat.org
Physical Properties of Pyromorphite
Mohs Hardness3.5 to 4
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Specific Gravity6.5 to 7.1
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
TenacityBrittle
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Cleavage QualityImperfect
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
FractureSub-Conchoidal
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
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Optical Properties of Pyromorphite
Refractive Index2.042 to 2.059
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Optical CharacterUniaxial/-
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
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Birefringence0.010
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
PleochroismWeak
Anthony et al, Handbook of mineralogy (2001)
Colour
Colour (General)Brown, green, orange, yellow, colourless, grey, white
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
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TransparencyTransparent,Translucent
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
LustreVitreous,Resinous
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
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Crystallography of Pyromorphite
Crystal SystemHexagonal
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
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HabitPrismatic, pyramidial, tabular
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
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Geological Environment
Where found:A secondary mineral in the oxidized zone of lead deposits; rarely a volcanic sublimate.
Anthony et al, Handbook of mineralogy (2001)
Further Information
Mineral information:Pyromorphite information at mindat.org
Significant Gem Localities
China
 
  • Guangxi
France
 
  • Nouvelle-Aquitaine
USA
 
  • Idaho
    • Shoshone Co.
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