Sphalerite is a zinc ore mineral, typically contains iron. If it has a high iron content, sphalerite is an opaque black. The gem-quality material has a low iron content that makes it transparent crystals. Due to its lack of hardness, it is called as a collector’s gemstone.
One of the most peculiar characteristics of sphalerite is its high dispersion (0.156). In fact, the dispersion of sphalerite is three times more than that of diamond, which has a dispersion of 0.044, meaning that sphalerite has remarkable “fire”; showing the separation of visible light into colours by refraction or diffraction
Due to its composition, sphalerite is also called as “zinc blende”. The name “sphalerite” comes from the Greek word, “sphaleros”, which means “deceptive”. Sphalerite is easily mistaken for galena, which is the mineral form of lead sulphide.
Sphalerite can be found in yellowish, orange or honey-brown color. It has a and resinous to adamantine luster, high dispersion, cleavage in six directions and high density. These help to distinguish sphalerite from other gemstones, which is of similar color. In addition, a streak test (done by crushing the mineral into a powder, or by swiping the mineral across a “streak plate”), produces a sulphurous odour, which makes sphalerite unmistakable.
Sphalerite Gemstone Metaphysical properties
There is not a great deal of information about the metaphysical properties of sphalerite,; it is thought to give strength to the wearer and also increases the vitality of the body. It increases the capacity of recovery from the illness and increases the sexual energy and creativity of the wearer and protects against the fatigue and exhaustion. Sphalerite is not a birthstone or a zodiac stone, but it is the non-traditional gemstone for the person born under the sign of Gemini and signifies planet earth. Physically, it is believed to remove and heal the eye disorders.
Chemical Properties of Sphalerite
Common Impurities: Mn,Cd,Hg,In,Tl,Ga,Ge,Sb,Sn,Pb,Ag
Source of Spheralite
This unique gemstone has been mined as zinc blende, mock lead, false galena and a black-jack. A significant amount of these minerals have been found in many parts of the world, that includes Australia, Burma, Germany, England, Italy, Spain and Peru.