Mineral Information and Data:

Pb [CNMNC approved formula]

Named from an Old English word for the metal; the chemical symbol from the Latin plumbum.

IMA status : Valid species (Pre-IMA Ancient) Grandfathered
(8th edition) :  
  (01) Native Elements
  (01.01) with metallic elements other than the platinum group
  (01.01.01) Gold group
(10th edition) :
  (01) Elements
  (01.A) Metals and Intermetallic Alloys
  (01.AA) Copper-cupalite family
Crystal system: Cubic System
Point group (H-M): m3m (or 4/m 3 2/m) — hexoctahedral
Unit cell: a = 4.951 Ǻ
Crystal Habit: Crystals octahedral or cubic or dodecahedral, rare; massive, thin plates, wires, dendritic, rounded masses
Twinning: On {111}.
Color: Gray-white, tarnishing to dull lead-gray; in polished section, gray-white, quickly tarnishing.
Diaphaneity: Opaque
Luster: Metallic
Hardness (Mohs): 1.5
Measured Density: 11.37 g/cm3
Cleavage: None Observed none, malleable
Tenacity: Very malleable, moderately sectile
Fracture: Hackly
Streak: Lead-gray
Geologic Setting: A rare mineral of hydrothermal origin, and found in placers; possibly also formed by authigenic processes and known to replace tree roots
Mineral Association: Hydrocerussite, caryopilite, sarkinite, brandtite (Harstigen mine, Sweden); galena,
minium, cerussite (Jay Gould mine, Idaho, USA; Red Cap mine, Australia); willemite, andradite, axinite (Franklin, New Jersey, USA)
Synonyms/varieties: Aabam, Load, Native Lead, Plumbum
Comments: Native lead is extremely rare, lead is far more commonly found and mined as the lead sulphide mineral galena. The Romans named the refined metal 'plumbum' and used it for pipes in plumbing. Its major use today is in lead acid batteries and for radiation shields. It is also a constituent of low melting alloys.


This specimen consists almost entirely of very sharp and well crystallized native lead. The crystals range in size to a full cm across. Also present are large bladed crystals of barite and there are also composite crystals of off white calcite. A note here - all lead specimens tend to become oxidized over time altering to hydrocerussite or other lead oxides.
Origin: Långban, Sweden
Sample size: 6.2 x 5 x 3 cm
Photo: John Veevaert, Trinity Mineral Co


(zoom-in of above)


Lead with calcite and hausmannite
Origin: Langban, Varmland, Sweden
Sample size: 5 x 6.5 x 1.8 cm
Photo: Dan Weinrich


(zoom-in of above)