Home > Metallic Minerals – September 17 > MS1439 Bismuth


Bismuth is a metallic element, rather similar to lead. French chemist Claude Geoffroy separated and distinguished the element from lead in 1753. The name comes from the German name Wismut, whose origin has been lost. The mineral has rhombohedral symmetry, with same crystal structure as native arsenic and native antimony.

This specimen comes from the famous Erzgebirge, i.e. "Ore Mountains" of along the German-Czech border. Mining there dates back to ancient times. Agricola 1556 work De Re Metallica details elaborate mining techniques and complex ores already well known in this region. Bismuth here shows complex skeletal, rhombohedral, growth. These crystals, to 3 mm, were etched out of calcite vein, and bear a brownish patina. Naturally crystallized bismuth is a true rarity, generally available only from this area.

Price: $450

Item code: MS1439

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