One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A shiny mineral, yellow to dark brown or black in color, consisting of zinc sulfide.
- ‘With sphalerite, it is one of the rarest minerals of the pillow basalts.’
- ‘Marmatite is the black, high-iron variety of sphalerite.’
- ‘Most of the sphalerite in the Eagle mine is marmatite, the black iron-rich variety.’
- ‘The crystals are perched on quartz along with rosin-colored sphalerite showing the black tarnish reported by Hurst.’
- ‘Black sphalerite is found within the gold-quartz vein and in the adjacent country rock.’
Mid 19th century: from Greek sphaleros ‘deceptive’ + -ite. Compare with blende.
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