Smithsonite Smithsonite is one of two zinc-containing minerals discovered by the British chemist and mineralogist James Smithson in 1803. Or, more precisely, Smithson discovered that a zinc-containing mineral known by the name calamine in the 18th century was in fact two separate minerals - a zinc carbonate and zinc silicate. The zinc carbonate was named hemimorphite and the zinc silicate was named smithsonite in Smithson's honor.
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