Home > Mexico I – December 15 > MS1692 Smithsonite


Smithsonite is zinc carbonate, and a member of the calcite group. François Sulpice Beudant (1787-1850) dubbed this mineral smithsonite in his seminal 1832 Traité Élémentaire de Minéralogie. The mineral name honors James Smithson (1765?-1829), an Englishman who never visited the United States, but nevertheless founded the Smithsonian Institution with a gift of his mineral collection and cash. Smithsonite is characteristic of zinc bearing deposits, itself typically botryoidal and occasionally confused with similarly appearing hemimorphite.

At Mina el Refugio, smithsonite comes in a wide range of colors: blues, greens, pinks, purples. The mechanisms for some of these hues are disputed to this day. This is a plate of botryoidal smithsonite. Hot pink and lustrous.

Price: $125

Item code: MS1692

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