From Ohio History Central
Galena, Tri-State Mineral District, Missouri-Kansas-Oklahoma; N 3832

Galena is the most important ore for the metal lead. Processing the ore is simple, and people have produced lead from galena since ancient times. In fact, the name galena comes from the Latin word for lead ore.


Chemical Composition:Lead Sulfide (PbS)
Mineral Class:Sulfides
Crystal Habit:Commonly well crystallized; sometimes in granular aggregates
Specific Gravity:7.4 - 7.6 making this a "heavy" mineral.
Hardness:2 1/2 - 3
Color:Lead-gray, steel-gray, silver-gray
Luster:Metallic, but will become dull when exposed to air
Streak:Lead-gray, steel-gray
Occurence:<img width="195" height="172" title="Map of galena occurence" alt="Map of galena occurence" src="images/naturalHistory/minerals/galenamap.gif" />


Worldwide, galena is a very common mineral and occurs in many places. In Ohio, this mineral has been reported in 11 counties. In northwestern Ohio crystals and granular aggregates of galena are found in cavities and fractures of dolostone along the Findlay Arch. In the eastern part of the state galena is rare but occurs in veins of ironstone concretions.


  • Carlson, Ernest H., ed. Minerals of Ohio; Ohio Division of Geological Survey, Columbus, OH; Bulletin 69; 1991.

  • Pough, Frederick H. A Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals; Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MA; 1976.
  • Sorrell, Charles A. Rocks and Minerals; Golden Press, New York, NY; 1973.

See Also