Cochise College          Photos of Minerals

                          Geology Home Page                

                          Roger Weller, geology instructor

                                  copyright 2006-R.Weller

Mineral Information on:

Chemical Group:  sulfide

Chemical Formula:   

Color:  root beer brown, yellow, reddish brown (ruby sphalerite)                                                                        
Streak:  brown to light yellow


Hardness:  3.5 to 4         Specific Gravity:  4.1

Tenacity:  brittle                

Cleavage:  6 directions, dodecahedral


Crystal Forms and Habits:  Isometric system
    Crystals are commonly tetrahedrons or dodecahedrons.
    Sphalerite commonly is found as cleavable masses.
    Other forms include: botryoidal, concretions, fibrous, fine granular

Mineral Associations:  chalcopyrite, galena,

Identifying Characteristics:  color, bruising on cleavage surfaces

Uses:  zinc ore


Toxicity:      when-swallowed- moderate        when inhaled- moderate

Additional Information:  Iron-rich sphalerite might be triboluminescent (gives off sparks
     when struck).