From Ohio History Central

The word sulfur comes from the Latin name for this important chemical element. Since much of the earth’s sulfur has been formed from gasses emitted by volcanoes, many mining operations throughout the world are found near extinct volcanoes. Sulfur is used in many manufacturing processes. One of the most notable historically is the production of black powder. Other industries include sulfuric acid, paper making, dyes, insecticides and fungicides.


Chemical Composition:Elemental Sulfur (S)
Mineral Class:Native Element
Crystal Habit:Generally in finely crystalline, granular masses; sometimes with well developed crystals.
Specific Gravity:2.0 - 2.1
Hardness:1 1/2 - 2 1/2
Color:Lemon yellow in large crystals, to pale yellow in massive forms.
Transparency:Transparent to translucent or opaque
Luster:Resinous to greasy
Occurence:<img width="195" height="172" title="Map of sulfur occurences" alt="Map of sulfer occurences" src="images/naturalHistory/minerals/sulfurmap.gif" />


Deposits of sulfur are found in many places in Europe, Africa, and North and South America. The most famous crystals, well formed and brightly colored, traditionally have come from Sicily. This mineral has been reported from 6 counties in Ohio.

In western Ohio sulfur rarely is found as fine-grained aggregates of small crystals as coatings on gypsum; sometimes it is associated with calcite or celestite in cavities of dolostones.


  • 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