Minerals Topics

Selected Virginia Minerals (Part 7)


• Galena is found sporadically in the Blue Ridge and Piedmont.

• It is most common in the carbonate rocks of the Valley and Ridge.  Lead deposits in the Shady Dolomite in southern Wythe County (Austinville - Ivanhoe District) produced lead from the 1750s to 1981.  The Austinville mines produced one-third of all the lead consumed by the Confederacy during the Civil War.

Wythe County galena (Photograph by Robert Whisonant)

MapThis sample from Wythe County has galena and calcite crystals.  The lead in galena was used for Confederate bullets during the Civil War.