Cerussite with pen for scale. From the mineral collection of Brigham Young University Department of Geology, Provo, Utah, Mineral Specimens 260. Courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey Denver Library Photographic Collection. (Photo by Andrew Silver.)

Formula: PbCO3 Orthorhombic


Cerussite is formed by the alteration of galena in the presence of carbonate. Heyl et. al. (1959) describe it as a common mineral throughout the zinc-lead district, usually as massive gray to yellowish crusts and as white to gray xls. and stellate xls. groups. Virtually all of the galena localities listed for the southwestern part of Wisconsin are probably also localities for cerussite.

DANE COUNTY: Found at the old Brigham mine and associated “diggings” in the S 1/2 Sec.7 T.6N R.5E where both galena and cerussite are found as “unusually large masses in gash veins” (Heyl et al., 1959).

GRANT COUNTY: Agnew (1963) describes cerussite as a component of the zinc-lead deposits in the Platteville Quadrangle.

GREEN COUNTY: Cerussite is found with galena at the old Newkirk lead mine in the N 1/2 SW 1/4 Sec. 24 T.3N R.6E (Heyl et al., 1959).

IOWA COUNTY: Cerussite is widespread in small amounts in the mines in this county near Mineral Point and Linden (Strong, 1877), Highland (Hobbs, 1892) and in the Rewey and Mifflin quadrangles (Taylor, 1964). Strong (1877) describes white and yellow crystals associated with and coating both galena and pyrite. Hobbs (1892, 1895) describes the crystallography of several cerussite specimens from Mineral Point and Highland, noting them to be translucent, stoutly columnar and up to 1 cm. in diameter. Some crystals are equant and pseudohexagonal. All are frequently twinned. Hobbs (1985) describes a third habit as rounded prismatic gray xls from Mineral Point. Some specific localities are as follows: -In the “Roberts Range” SW 1/4 NW 1/4 Sec. 8 T.5N R.2E near Linden (Strong, 1877).
— As dull white masses to well-formed crystals from the Homesite Mine at Mineral Point (Raasch,1924).
— Porcellaneous massive cerussite is found at Waldwick (Heyl et al., 1959).

LAFAYETTE COUNTY: Klemic and West (1964) report cerussite in the zinc-lead deposits of the Belmont and Calamine quadrangles.

WINNEBAGO COUNTY: Cerussite is reported with galena, hemimorphite, smithsonite, sphalerite, calcite, marcasite and pyrite in dolostone at the Lutz Quarry, in the western part of Oshkosh, on Hwy. 44 T.18N R.16W (USGS 1976).