Re: cleaning up galena
Welcome to this crazy hobby!
Galena is not soluble in water, acetic acid (vinegar), or hydrochloric acid. It is soluble in nitric acid.
The general rule in cleaning a specimen is to use the least aggressive approach that will do the job. I don't know what you want to remove from the galena, but I would start with a water soak, then brush with water and detergent. If that doesn't work, try vinegar. Can you tell us what you are trying to remove?
For many of us, minerals are a bit like antique furniture; we try to retain the original patina. Also, we try to retain the mineral on its matrix and only remove material which obscures the desirable crystals. In short, we try only to improve the aesthetics while retaining a little of its original environment.
From Don Peck - December 03, 2007 at 12:44:42