Smithsonite Vs. Hemimorphite

August 27th 2021

Smithsonite is often confused with Hemimorphite, despite the particularities that each of these two minerals display.

Smithsonite and Hemimorphite were believed to be the same mineral until 1803 when James Smithson, the British chemist and mineralogist, described them as two distinct ones:

  • Smithsonite - Zinc Carbonate
  • Hemimorphite - Zinc Silicate

Distinguishing Smithsonite from Hemimorphite implies knowing their basic properties that can help you identify your stone and avoid further confusion. Some collectors recommend the following test to distinguish Smithsonite from Hemimorphite: place a small piece of the mineral into 10% hydrochloric acid; if you notice CO2 bubbles, it's Smithsonite; if it dissolves, becoming gel-like, it's Hemimorphite.

Smithsonite's Properties

Also known as Zin Spar, Smithsonite's properties set it apart from Hemimorphite.

  • Chemical composition: Zinc Carbonate.
  • Appearance: Usually found in globular or botryoidal aggregate form.
  • Deposits: Namibia, Zambia, Australia, Italy, Greece, Spain, Mexico, USA.
  • Coloration: Shades of blue, green, or turquoise depending on the amounts of zinc and other trace impurities.
  • Clarity: Typically translucent to opaque.
  • Luster: Vitreous when polished, pearly, and often as aggregate.
  • Hardness: 5 on the Mohs scale.

Metaphysical properties: Crystal therapists use this mineral to relax an overactive mind because it radiates peaceful, calming energy. It is a great tool for meditation and other spiritual practices. It is also helpful during tarot readings, psychic readings, or I Ching.

Hemimorphite's Properties

Hemimorphite is a relatively rare mineral; we can distinguish it from other similar minerals such as Smithsonite, knowing its physical and chemical properties.

  • Chemical composition: Zinc Silicate.
  • Appearance: Grained, fibrous, tabular crystals, sheaf-like or fan-like aggregates, stalactitic, botryoidal.
  • Deposits: Belgium, Germany, Poland, North Africa, USA
  • Coloration: White, brownish, rarely pink or light blue
  • Clarity: Opaque
  • Luster: Vitreous, rarely silky
  • Hardness: 4.5-5 on the Mohs scale

Metaphysical properties: Energy healers use it mainly to promote spiritual growth and transformation. It radiates uplifting energy, balances male-female energies, resonates with the Crown, Third Eye and Throat Chakras, and facilitates communication with Spirit Guides and Angelic Entities.

Authentic Smithsonite and Hemimorphite at the Village Rock Shop

Both Smithsonite and Hemimorphite are rare minerals with excellent healing qualities that imbue users with a calming energy that is conducive to spiritual growth and development. They can be used as effective tools for meditation and resonate with multiple chakras. They're also used during tarot readings and promote psychic communication.

At Village Rock Shop, we offer both minerals in their natural form, which are sourced from environmentally-responsible providers.

Every rock and mineral holds particular attributes, and our shop in Carlsbad provides a broad range of options. We will gladly help you identify the right item for your specific requirements.