color photo of galena sample

Hardness: 2.5

Galena is lead sulfide (PbS), the principal mineral of lead ore. It occurs as metallic to lead-gray, cube-shaped crystals that break into cubic, right-angled fragments. Some galena crystals are very large. Galena is heavy, has a metallic luster on fresh surfaces, has a gray-black streak, and is so soft that it will mark on paper. Galena was once mined in the Tri-State mining district, formerly one of the most important lead- and zinc-producing areas in the world.

small drawing of Kansas map with Cherokee County highlighted in red

The sample pictured above is from Cherokee County, Kansas


Buchanan, Rex C., Tolsted, Laura L., and Swineford, Ada, 1986, Kansas Rocks and Minerals: Kansas Geological Survey, Educational Series 2, 60 p.

Klein, Cornelis, 1993, Manual of Mineralogy (after James D. Dana), 21st Edition: New York, Wiley, 681 p.

Unless noted otherwise, illustrations by Jennifer Sims, Kansas Geological Survey; photographs by John Charlton, Kansas Geological Survey; text by Liz Brosius, Kansas Geological Survey.

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