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Formula:   S   mineral photo

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Crystal:   Orthorhombic  
Hardness:   1.5-2.5  
Spec. Gr.:   2.07  
Streak:   Yellow  
Cleavage:   Imperfect
basal, prismatic
Location:   Cozzodisi Mine, Castelermini, Sicily, Italy  

Sulfur was one of the first mineral elements recognized by earliest man. Yellow in color, inflammable, and emits a foul odor. Egyptians used sulfur more than 4000 years ago for bleaching textiles and as an disinfectant. The Romans first used it to prepare medicines. After the 14th century it became an important material in the manufacture of gunpowder. It is now used in sulfuric acid, and in the making of cellulose, rubber, dyes, pigments, medicines, disinfectants and pesticides. Its links with the devil were underlined in the Bible, with the vision of the prophet Ezekiel, who described Satan as imprisoned in a lake of burning sulfur. Sulfur is a soft translucent mineral, usually yellow or brown in color, and easily fractures from a blow or heat. It forms in bipyramidal or thick tabular crystals, often associates with celestine. Important localities are the Machow mine, Tarnobrzag, Poland; San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico; and especially at the Agrigento and Girgenti areas of Sicily, Italy.

Bibliography: Alain, Eid, Minerals of the World, pg. 77.

Mineralogical Record, V10, pg. 179.

University of California, Santa Barbara—Department of Earth Science
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