Mineral Information and Data:

PbO [CNMNC approved formula]

Named from the Greek word given by Dioscorides to the lead oxide obtained in parting lead from silver by fire metallurgy; a name long applied to the synthetic product.

IMA status : Valid species (Pre-IMA 1917) Grandfathered
(8th edition) :  
  (04) Simple Oxides
  (04.02) with a cation charge of 2+ (A++ O)
(10th edition) :
  (04) Oxides and Hydroxides
  (04.A) Metal:Oxygen = 2.1 and 1:1
  (04.AC) M:O = 1:1 (and up to 1:1.25); with large cations (+- smaller ones)
Crystal system: Tetragonal System
Point group (H-M): 4/mmm (or 4/m 2/m 2/m) — ditetragonal-dipyramidal
Unit cell: a = 3.9729 Å, c = 5.0217 Å
Crystal Habit: Crusts; alteration borders on Massicot
Color: Red; red to red-orange in transmitted light
Diaphaneity: Transparent
Luster: Greasy, Dull
Hardness (Mohs): 2 to 5
Measured Density: 9.35 g/cm3
Cleavage: 1; {110} perfect
Polymorphism and Series: Dimorphous with massicot
Geologic Setting: As an alteration product of other lead-bearing minerals.
Mineral Association: Lead, galena, massicot, plattnerite, hydrocerussite
Synonyms/varieties: Litargia, Lithargite,


This specimen has crusts of reddish orange litharge set among crystals of magnesioferrite.
Origin: Långban, Sweden
Sample size: 3.8 x 3 x 2 cm
Photo: John Veevaert, Trinity Mineral Co


(zoom-in of above)


This specimen has a surface layer of pyrochroite upon which are found native lead and red litharge. The word "Monja", found on von Eckermann's label, is an obsolete term used to describe lead oxides - mainly litharge. There are also a few scattered and very small crystals of barite on this
specimen. Litharge was widespread in the mine and generally found in close proximity to native lead.
Origin: Långban, Sweden
Sample size: 5.5 x 5.3 x 2.5 cm
Photo: John Veevaert, Trinity Mineral Co


(zoom-in of above)