Galena, Lead Sulfide (Pb S), is a common metallic mineral and the most important commercial ore of lead and silver. Galena is a natural semiconductor, once widely used as the 'crystal' inside old fashioned crystal radio sets. Working with and understanding the properties of Galena led to the evolution of almost all of our new-fangled electronic devices, including the telephone, television, GPS systems and medical equipment, making this humble mineral an essential part of modern life.
Galena's crystal system is isometric and the mineral grows in characteristic cubic (4-sided) and octahedral (8-sided) formations. Color is usually opaque lead or silver gray, sometimes with a blue tint, and luster is metallic. Cleavage is perfect in four directions, fracture is uneven, specific gravity is 7.4 - 7.6, streak is lead gray and hardness is 2.5 - 2.75 on the Moh Scale. Notable deposits of Galena are found in the states of Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri, and is an important ore in the silver mining regions of Colorado, Utah, Idaho and Montana. It is the official state mineral of Missouri and Wisconsin. In the United Kingdom major deposits are found in Scotland, Northern England and Cornwall. The mineral is also mined in France, Germany, Romania, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Israel, Australia, Peru and Africa. It tends to be associated with deposits of sphalerite, calcite and fluorite.
Magically Galena is linked to the energy of elemental Earth and is said to give the gift of confidence. Working with this mineral is believed to help you develop self-belief, inner strength and the determination needed to achieve your goals, no matter how distant they may seem at the moment. Galena is said to strengthen and harmonize natural energies to help create a state of being where your spiritual, physical and mental powers are working together harmoniously for the highest good of all.
Galena is believed to be especially healing for the heart, lungs and circulatory system and is used by crystal healers to cleanse and strengthen these vital systems. It is also said to be a good general healing crystal, boosting the immune system and promoting general good health and well-being.
Because Galena is a lead based mineral you should always wash your hands after touching or working with it. Children tend to be more susceptible to lead posioning than adults, and should be supervised if they are working with Galena, or any other lead mineral. Make sure babies and children young enough to be putting things in their mouth cannot get their little paws on your Galena specimens!