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Bismuthinite - Schlaggenwald (Horni Slavkov) - Bohemia - Czech Republic (XX 1.1cm)
Category Sulfide mineral
(repeating unit)
Strunz classification 02.DB.05a
Crystal system Orthorhombic - Dipyramidal 2/m 2/m 2/m

Lead-gray to tin-white, with a yellowish or iridescent

Crystal habit Slender prismatic to acicular, massive lamellar
Cleavage [010] Perfect
Fracture Brittle - sectile
Mohs scale hardness 2
Luster Metallic
Streak Lead grey
Specific gravity 6.8 - 7.2
Optical properties Opaque
References [1][2][3]

Bismuthinite is a mineral consisting of bismuth sulfide (Bi2S3). It is an important ore for bismuth. The crystals are steel-grey to off-white with a metallic luster. It is soft enough to be scratched with a fingernail and rather dense.

Bismuthinite forms a series with the lead, copper, bismuth mineral aikinite (PbCuBiS3).[3]

Bismuthinite crystal group from Bolivia (size: 2.9 x 1.9 x 1.5 cm)

It occurs in hydrothermal veins with tourmaline-bearing copper veins associated with granite, in some high temperature gold veins, and in recent volcanic exhalation deposits. Associated minerals include native bismuth, aikinite, arsenopyrite, stannite, galena, pyrite, chalcopyrite, tourmaline, wolframite, cassiterite and quartz.[1]

It was first reported in 1832 from the mines of Potosí, Bolivia.[2]


  1. ^ a b Mineral Handbook
  2. ^ a b Webmineral Site
  3. ^ a b Mindat mineral data

Further reading[edit]