Bismuthinite is a mineral consisting of bismuth sulfide (Bi2S3). It is an important ore for bismuth. The crystals are steel-grey to off-white with a metallic luster. It is soft enough to be scratched with a fingernail and rather dense.

Bismuthinite - Schlaggenwald (Horni Slavkov) - Bohemia - Czech Republic (XX 1.1cm)
CategorySulfide mineral
(repeating unit)
IMA symbolBin[1]
Strunz classification2.DB.05a
Crystal systemOrthorhombic
Crystal classDipyramidal (mmm)
H-M symbol: (2/m 2/m 2/m)
Space groupPbnm
ColorLead-gray to tin-white, with a yellowish or iridescent tarnish.
Crystal habitSlender prismatic to acicular, massive lamellar
Cleavage[010] Perfect
TenacityBrittle, sectile
Mohs scale hardness2
StreakLead grey
Specific gravity6.8 - 7.2
Optical propertiesOpaque

Bismuthinite forms a series with the lead, copper, bismuth mineral aikinite (PbCuBiS3).[4]

Bismuthinite crystal group from Bolivia (size: 2.9 x 1.9 x 1.5 cm)
This microprobe scan of a quartz-rich gold ore from the Ädelfors Goldmine shows the orientation of bismuthinite and various other phases, mostly maldonite, along trails, probably former cracks

It occurs in hydrothermal veins with tourmaline-bearing copper veins associated with granite, in some high temperature gold veins, and in recent volcanic exhalation deposits. Associated minerals include native bismuth, aikinite, arsenopyrite, stannite, galena, pyrite, chalcopyrite, tourmaline, wolframite, cassiterite and quartz.[2]

It was first reported in 1832 from the mines of Potosí, Bolivia.[3]


  1. ^ Warr, L.N. (2021). "IMA–CNMNC approved mineral symbols". Mineralogical Magazine. 85 (3): 291–320. Bibcode:2021MinM...85..291W. doi:10.1180/mgm.2021.43. S2CID 235729616.
  2. ^ a b Anthony, John W.; Bideaux, Richard A.; Bladh, Kenneth W.; Nichols, Monte C. (2005). "Bismuthinite" (PDF). Handbook of Mineralogy. Mineral Data Publishing. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  3. ^ a b Bismuthinite Mineral Data,, retrieved 26 May 2022
  4. ^ a b Bismuthinite,, retrieved 26 May 2022

Further readingEdit