Historical information

Galena occurs in a range of deposit contexts, often in metalliferous veins, such as Broken Hill, Australia; Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, United States.; Clausthal Zellerfeld, Germany; and Cornwall, England. Large deposits also replace limestone, dolomite, or occasionally organic matter, or have a contact-metamorphic origin. Galena is additionally found in cavities, brecciated (fractured) zones in limestone and chert, and in coal beds.

This specimen was recovered from Broken Hill NSW and is 60% lead with 8-12 oz/silver to the ton.


Galena or 'lead glance' is a grey lead sulfide and the chief ore mineral of lead. It forms isometric crystals in which the ionic lattice is similar to sodium chloride. Galena is brittle and easily weathers to secondary lead minerals, with the upper part of mineral deposits often containing cerussite, anglesite, and pyromorphite. It usually contains silver, which is mined along with its lead content. Other commercially important minerals that form in close association with galena are antimony, copper, and zinc.

This specimen is part of a larger collection of geological and mineral specimens collected from around Australia (and some parts of the world) and donated to the Burke Museum between 1868-1880. A large percentage of these specimens were collected in Victoria as part of the Geological Survey of Victoria that begun in 1852 (in response to the Gold Rush) to study and map the geology of Victoria. Collecting geological specimens was an important part of mapping and understanding the scientific makeup of the earth. Many of these specimens were sent to research and collecting organisations across Australia, including the Burke Museum, to educate and encourage further study.

Physical description

A small-sized solid specimen containing one mineral with a sparkly silver metallic lustre exterior and pastel-grey interior.