Minerals of Scotland

Photo Gallery


Secondary Lead Species

including photographs of

Pyromorphite - Vanadinite - Descloizite - Minium


Leadhills - Wanlockhead Main

Galena - Sphalerite Pyrite - Calcite - Quartz - Barite

Anglesite - Cerussite

Caledonite - Leadhillite Lanarkite


Veszelyite - Greenockite Hemimorphite

Aurichalcite Chalcopyrite - Brochantite - Malachite

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PYROMORPHITE - East Stayvoyage Vein, Leadhills, Lanarkshire.
Elongated, bi-terminated, prismatic crystals coating matrix. (area: c.15x10mms).


The lead phosphate mineral, pyromorphite, is probably the most common lead secondary species to be found at Leadhills and Wanlockhead, in addition to cerussite, with which is is very commonly associated. Other associated minerals include the much rarer species of leadhillite and lanarkite.

PYROMORPHITE - Leadhills, Lanarkshire. Spindly-acicular micro-crystals in radiating sprays and bundles.

PYROMORPHITE - Leadhills, Lanarkshire.
Crystals in branching, radiating sprays.

Pyromorphite is generally green in colour, but as with other localities worldwide, at Leadhills and Wanlockhead, it occurs in a variety of colours, including various hues of its typical green colour. It also varies in habit - from the typical, hexagonal crystals to acicular and botryoidal forms.

Yellow varieties make it difficult to distinguish from the related mimetite (a lead arsenate) which is also to be found in the mines of Leadhills and Wanlockhead.

PYROMORPHITE - Belton Grain, Wanlockhead.
Bright apple green crystalline groups.


Vanadinite (a lead vanadate species) is an uncommon mineral in the United Kingdom.

Apart from Leadhills & Wanlockhead, it is found only in a limited number of sites in the rest of the United Kingdom and rarely is it found in anything larger than micromount specimen size.

The more recent specimens from Wanlockhead are generally unappealing, but can make interesting micromounts.

The pale yellow-orange-brown "ball" habit in which he species is regularly found at Wanlockhead, may reveal itself on occasion, under the microscope, to be composed of aggregates of tiny, elongated acicular crystals.

The more typical habit for vanadinite, mimetite and pyromorphite - as small, hexagonal prisms, brown or yellow in colour - are also found.

VANADINITE - Straitsteps Mine, Wanlockhead.
Yellowish balls of vanadinite to 1mm on quartz coating a massive hematite matrix.

Descloizite & Minium

Descloizite, a hydrous lead-zinc vanadate, is found as minute, wedge-shaped crystals - often "diamond-shaped" in outline - or as botryoidal aggregates.

The colour ranges from orange-brown to black.

It is most commonly associated with cerussite, pyromorphite, mimetite and minium (a lead oxide) - the latter typically forming a powdery coating.

Perhaps not the most attractive of mineral species, they are nonetheless of interest and both species occurs throughout Leadhills & Wanlockhead area. Nevertheless, they are uncommon in examples of "hand" specimen size.

Straitsteps Mine, Wanlockhead.

above & left -
Brown - black micro-crystal aggregates
and botryoids, with reddish, powdery minium.
(views 10mms).

Minerals of Scotland.