This beautiful specimen contains an association of pyrite, galena and barite crystals. It comes from the Huanzala Mine in Peru and the entire piece measures 3.2" wide.
Galena is a lead based mineral that is in fact the primary ore of lead, and has been used for its lead content for thousands of years. Galena typically displays a gray metallic luster and forms cubes or octahedral crystals. The chemical composition of galena is PbS.
The mineral pyrite or iron pyrite is commonly referred to as Fool's Gold because its metallic luster and pale brass-yellow hue give it a superficial resemblance to gold. In the old mining days, pyrite was sometimes mistaken for gold. Pyrite is the most common of the sulfide minerals with the chemical formula FeS2. Pyrite crystals occur in many shapes and habits, including cubes of all sizes, penetration twin cubes, pyritohedral clusters and as small druzy crystals that can exhibit a beautiful glistening effect.
Barite, commonly spelled baryte, is well-known for its great range of colors and varied crystal forms and habits. It is a heavy mineral consisting of barium sulfate, and typically has the chemical formula of BaSO4. The barite group consists of baryte, celestine, anglesite and anhydrite. It's generally white to colorless and is the main source of barium.