:A cute thumbnail showing a honey coloured twinned crystal of sphalerite overgrown by multicoloured chalcopyrite on a matrix of snowy white dolomite.

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Sphlarite. Fancy Cut Gem. Sphalerite is the chief ore of zinc. It consists largely of zinc sulfide in crystalline form but almost always contains variable iron. When iron content is high it is an opaque black variety, marmatite. It is usually found in association with galena, pyrite, and other sulfides along with calcite, dolomite, and fluorite. Miners have also been known to refer to sphalerite as zinc blende, black-jack, and ruby jack.

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Very Large Sphalerite—A Member of the 100 Carats Club Picos de Europa, Santander, Spain From a very small mine, now closed for at least twenty years, comes this superb and rare faceted sphalerite. Sphalerite, a zinc iron sulfide, is usually found in black and very rarely in the rich orange color seen here—and it is rarely seen cut into a gemstone. The luster of sphalerite is its strongest attribute, i.e. it is adamantine, with a high refractive index and brilliance greater than diamonds.

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Sphalerite is the chief ore of zinc. It consists largely of zinc sulfide in crystalline form but almost always contains variable iron. When iron content is high it is an opaque black variety, marmatite. It is usually found in association with galena, pyrite, and other sulfides along with calcite, dolomite, and fluorite. Miners have also been known to refer to sphalerite as zinc blende, black-jack, and ruby jack.

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Zinc, in commerce also spelter, is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element of group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is, in some respects, chemically similar to magnesium, because its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2. Zinc is the 24th most abundant element in the Earth's crust and has five stable isotopes. The most common zinc ore is sphalerite (zinc blende), a zinc sulfide mineral.

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These Radioactive Elements Actually Do Glow in the Dark

These Radioactive Elements Actually Do Glow in the Dark: This is a glowing radium painted dial from the 1950s. Radium doesn't really glow, but it emits radiation that causes phosphorescence in doped zinc sulfide.

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