Geographic Minerals

Rhodplumsite – a rare rhodium-lead sulfide mineral

Rhodplumsite – a rare rhodium-lead sulfide mineral

Rhodplumsite is a rhodium-lead sulphide mineral distinguished by the fact that it exhibits different colors when viewed from different angles, appearing white, creamy pink, or grayish-blue. It is a rare rhodium-lead sulfide mineral, chemical formula Rh3Pb2S2.

It was discovered by William Hyde Wollaston of England. It was named after the Greek word meaning rose.

Rhodplumsite is a rare mineral Mineral Commodity that can be mined from Hotspots in Planetary Ring Systems.

Physical Properties

Rhodplumsite is a lustrous, hard silvery-white metal. Much like ruthenium, it is stable, affecting only by hot alkalis. It is a component of automobile catalytic converters, which help clean up exhaust gases. It is the most valuable platinum group metal.

  • Formula: Rh3Pb2S2.
  • Colour: Gray
  • Crystal System: Trigonal
  • Name: The name reflects its composition: rhodium and lead.
  • Transparency: Opaque

Occurrence: In a platinum nugget in a placer probably derived from the nearby Omutninskii gabbro-pyroxenite-dunite massif.

Association: Platinum, tulameenite, iridium–osmium, laurite, chromite

Rhodium is stable enough to be frequently found in its pure form. Rhodplumsite is a somewhat common rhodium-bearing mineral. Rhodium is obtained as a by-product from mining platinum and palladium in the USA (Montana), South Africa, and Russia.


Its primary use is as a catalyst. It is also alloyed with palladium and platinum to harden those metals. It is also used in the coating of mirrors and to form a hard, lustrous coating for silverware, jewelry, and camera parts.