Smithsonite – Day 17 of the Mineral Advent Calendar

This holiday season, why not get a mineral every day instead of chocolate?! Today’s mineral is Smithsonite, find out more about it below….

If you hadn’t guessed yet, I really enjoy this time of year; the food, the sparkling lights, the music, the company and the bells! The jingle of sleigh bells is so ubiquitous at this time of year that you might think that you don’t hear them any other time, but good brass sleigh bells are still used on sleds and sleighs to make them audible o  dark winters nights in many parts of the world. And what a great sound they make!!

Yes sleigh bells are my text tone right now, which I guess might be driving my family a little crazy, but in order to have real brass sleigh bells you need zinc, and for that you need today’s mineral Smithsonite!

Lovely Smithsonite - this pink one is really pretty! The image is from The MinDat website, taken by Danny Jones.

Lovely Smithsonite – this pink one is really pretty! The image is from the MinDat website, taken by Danny Jones.

Smithsonite:
Chemical formula: ZnCO3
Colour: White, grey, yellow, green, blue, pink, purple, bluish grey, and brown.
System: Trigonal
Hardness (Mohs): 4 – 4½

Locations for Smithsonite from the MinDat Website.

Locations for Smithsonite from the MinDat Website.

Smithsonite is a mineral connected with the oxidisation of zinc, so you can find it in several locations in the UK – similar to copper, often in old industrial mining areas. But again, take care if searching for minerals near old mining locations, in case of unmarked shafts, or dangerous unstable surfaces.

For more information about Smithsonite please visit the MinDat website.

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