The Mineral lead
Lead is a common element, but is very rare in a native state. Some locations contain lead as a by-product of smelting operations, where masses of lead are formed, but they are not naturally occurring. Such specimens are occasionally sold to collectors.
Light-gray to slightly bluish-gray
Light-gray. Streak shiny.
Malleable, ductile, and sectile
|Other ID Marks
Oxidizes to a slightly bluish-gray color.
Occurs as small grains, and sometimes as thin flakes, bust most often in massive form.
Due to its rarity, Native Lead is only used as a specimen for collectors. It is fairly uncommon to obtain as a specimen, and is sought after by collectors despite its lack of aesthetics.
Although Native Lead is not an ore of the element lead, the uses for that element will be briefly mentioned here:
Lead is used in batteries, paint pigments, glasswork, and in sheathing electric cables. Its heavy mass enables it to be used as a shield for radioactive materials, including x-ray shielding. In recent times, much lead is being replaced with other metals, particularly in piping, paints, and glasswork, due to its health hazards in causing lead poisoning and brain damage.
Native Lead is a very rare mineral, with few noteworthy localities. Perhaps the best collectors specimens come from Langban, Sweden. The Harstigen Mine in Varmland, Sweden has also produced a limited amount of Lead, and it has also recently been found in the Garpenberg Noora Mine, also in Varmland, as thin sheets. In the U.S., Lead has been found in Franklin and Ogdensburg, Sussex Co., New Jersey.
Common Mineral Associations
Calcite, Hematite, Tremolite, Quartz
Distingushing Similar Minerals
The distinctive properties of Lead can distinguish it from every mineral.