About Smithsonite

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Keep reading to discover more about smithsonite

  • Mineralogy and geology*
  • Metaphysical, Spiritual and Healing** Properties***
  • Common Associations


Mineralogy and Geology of Smithsonite

Mineral formula: ZnCO3

Mineral group: member of the calcite group

Crystal system: trigonal

Crystal habit: Often botryoidal, massive, or as incrustations.

Cleavage: Very good on {1011}.

Fracture: irregular, sub-conchoidal

Color: variable; most New Mexico smithsonite is aqua blue to light gray or creamy beige (“turkey fat” smithsonite).

Luster: vitreous, pearly

Diaphaneity: translucent

Moh’s scale hardness: 4 – 4 ½

Streak: white

Specific gravity: 4.42 – 4.44

Named after: Originally named calamine (from Lapis calaminaris, used by Agricola in 1546), it was discovered in 1780 that calamine was a mix of zinc carbonates and silicates. in 1832 François Sulpice Beudant re-named smithsonite in honor of James Smithson (1754-1829, British chemist, mineralogist, and benefactor of the Smithsonian Institution) who did extensive work on “calamine.”

Geological occurrence: Smithsonite is often found as a secondary mineral in the oxidation zones of zinc ore deposits. It can also be observed in sedimentary deposits and as a direct oxidation product of sphalerite.

Spiritual, Metaphysical and Healing Properties

Smithsonite works with you to enhance the qualities of pleasantness, kindliness, and charm. It supports favorable outcomes. It promotes physical vitality, and psychic abilities. The blue-green colors associate it with healing of the upper heart and throat chakras.

Common Associations

  • Chakra – depends on color and type
  • Numerology - vibrates to the number 7
  • Zodiac – Pisces, Virgo
  • Birthstone – none traditional
  • Wedding Anniversary – none traditional


* Mineralogical information is from mindat.org

** Always consult with your medical professional for any physical or long-term healing issues.

*** Metaphysical properties come from: 

Love Is in the Earth (1995) Melody, Earth-Love Publishing House, 726 pp.

The Crystal Bible, A Definitive Guide to Crystals (2003) Judy Hall, Walking Stick Press, 399 pp.

Crystal Muse (2017) Heather Askinosie and Timmi Jandro, Hay House, 285 pp.

Crystal Gridwork (2018) Kiera Fogg, Weiser Books, 128 pp.