Smithsonite is usually white or cream, yellow or blue, but occasionally a trace of copper can give it a pleasing apple green colour, like this one. The crystals can often be sharp ‘dog-tooth’ shapes but can also show spherical or tear-drop forms with silky lustre. Its name comes from an English scientist, James Smithson, whose endowment founded the Smithsonian Institution in America in 1846.
Proprietary Mine, Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia
6.5 x 8.5 x 3.5 cm
The crystals in this specimen look like a collection of green bubbles. They completely cover the underlying lead carbonate mineral, cerussite. Smithsonite, together with cerussite and anglesite, was a common mineral in the oxidised zone of the Broken Hill orebody. Albert Chapman saw this very desirable specimen in an old collection and purchased it about 1945.
Discover the Minerals Gallery
Be dazzled by the finest examples from this incredible Australian Museum collection and immerse yourself in the world-leading mineralogy research of the Australian Museum Research Institute.
Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia. 4.5 x 4 x 3 cm. D.49982. Albert Chapman Collection.