Sphalerite is a sulfide mineral. It is the most important ore of zinc. This mineral found in a variety of deposit types, but it is primarily in sedimentary exhalative, Mississippi-Valley type, and volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits.

German geologist Ernst Friedrich Glocker discovered mineral in 1847. Naming it based on the Greek word sphaleros, meaning “deceiving”, due to the difficulty of identifying the mineral.

In addition to zinc, it is an ore of cadmium, gallium, germanium, and indium. Miners known to refer to sphalerite as zinc blende, black-jack, and ruby blende. Marmatite is an opaque black variety with a high iron content.

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