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Presented specimen is unique because of the locus of occurrence holomorphic zinc and lead ores. It takes the form of fine-grained, dense masses, which, after surface polishing, are very effective - as in the case of our sphalerite.

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In Greek sphaleros means something misleading, sneaky, or deceptive. Sphalerite, or zinc blende (zinc sulfide), previously was called by the miners only a blend, or ore, which deceives, because it foreshadows metal, however, does not bring it. Sphalerite is common and widespread, in Poland there is a zinc-lead deposits in the Silesia-Cracow region.
Presented specimen is unique because of the locus of occurrence holomorphic zinc and lead ores. It takes the form of fine-grained, dense masses, which, after surface polishing, are very effective - as in the case of our sphalerite.

Elaborated by the Geological Museum at the Faculty of Geology, Geophysics and Environmental Protection of the AGH University of Science and Technology, editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums, © all rights reserved

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Zinc and lead minerals

Sandstone with mudstone intercalations and marl with marly limestone deposited first in  shallow then in a deeper basin in the Triassic. A carbonate complex, build mainly of limestone and partly of dolomite developed in the Middle Triassic. 

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Sandstone with mudstone intercalations and marl with marly limestone deposited first in  shallow then in a deeper basin in the Triassic. A carbonate complex, build mainly of limestone and partly of dolomite developed in the Middle Triassic. There are high amounts of zinc and lead ores in dolomites (Olkusz, Trzebionka).
Polish deposits of zinc and lead ores exploited in the past and nowadays are connected with Silesian-Kraków Triassic dolomites (ore-bearing dolomite). Mining exploitation was carried out in the area of: Bytom, Tarnowskie Góry, Olkusz, Jaworzno and Chrzanów. In the 2nd half of the 20th century the mines: Trzebionka (1962), Olkusz (1968) and Pomorzany (1974) were opened. The mines Pomorzany and Olkusz were merged into one enterprise Olkusz-Pomorzany in 1976. Trzebionka mine is successively liquidated, the final close out is planned in 2009, so it can be worth to collect available specimen of galena, sphalerite, marcasite, barite, gypsum and cerusite  from that locality. Polished cross-sections through  collomorphic aggregates of sphalerite including galena crystals and marcasite are really valuable for collectors. The name schallenblende” was characteristic for the terminology concenring deposits from Upper Silesia and it is used in scientific terminology and among collectors. The scientific investigations which have been carried on for a long time allow to confirm that Upper Silesian occurrences of zinc and lead ores correspond to the Alpine ones, spreading from France through Italy (Salafossa, Raibl) and Austria (Bleiberg) up to Slovenia (Mezica). They are of the same age and occur in the same geological formations. They also correspond to American deposits (Mississipi Valley Type) which was confirmed at the Geological Congress in London in 1952.

Elaborated by the Geological Museum at the Faculty of Geology, Geophysics and Environmental Protection of the AGH University of Science and Technology, © all rights reserved

See also:
Marcasite from “Pomorzany” Coalmine
Sphalerite from “Pomorzany” Coalmine
Sphalerite
Sphalerite— Galena
Calcite with marcasite

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Sphalerite

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