Definitions

Wulfenite

Wulfenite

[wool-fuh-nahyt]
Wulfenite is a lead molybdate mineral with the formula PbMoO4.

It can be most often found as thin tabular crystals with a bright orange-red to yellow-orange color, sometimes brown, although the color can be highly variable. In its yellow form it is sometimes called "yellow lead ore".

Wulfenite is named for Franz Xavier von Wulfen (1728-1805), an Austrian mineralogist.

Wulfenite is found in many localities, associated with lead ores. A secondary mineral associated with the oxidized zone of lead deposits. Wulfenite is a heavy mineral with a specific gravity of 6.5-7.0.

Wulfenite is in the tetragonal system, often stubby, pyrimidal, tabular, massive, granular, and earthy. It shows a white streak, and has a hardness of 2.75 - 3.0 on Mohs Hardness scale.

A secondary ore of molybdenum, sought after by collectors.

The most famous locality for Wulfenite is the Red Cloud Mine in Arizona. Crystals are deep red in color and usually very well formed. The Los Lamentos locality in Mexico produced very thick tabular orange crystals. Samples from Pheonixville, Pennsylvania, while usually not bigger than microcrystals, are desirable because of the unusual location.

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