Sulfur is a chemical element, with the symbol S, belonging to the class of non-metals. Sulfur is the tenth most common element by mass in the universe and the fifth most common on Earth. The name derives from the Sanskrit “sulvere” and from the Latin “sulfur”, which means “to burn”: when it burns, the sulfur emits a characteristic blue flame and an unpleasant odor. Other sources derive the term sulfur from the Arabic “sufra”, which means yellow.

Historically and in literature, sulfur is also called brimstone, which means "rim stone", due to its characteristic of being often found on the edges of volcanic craters.

Although sometimes found in pure native form, sulfur is usually found as a sulfide (like pyrite) or sulfate (like gypsum) of minerals. Due to its abundance in native form, sulfur has been known since ancient times and is mentioned for its uses in India, ancient Greece, China and Egypt.

Its best known and most common form is the crystalline one with an intense yellow color; in its pure state it is odorless and tasteless. The largest crystal ever found in nature measures almost 25 centimeters in length and 5 kilograms in weight and is exhibited at the Museum of Natural History in Milan.

Where is it?

Native sulfur is found mainly near thermal springs and volcanic areas. Deposits associated with evaporite deposits are also frequent. The main fields in the world are located in Texas and Louisiana (USA), Japan, Indonesia. In Italy the largest deposits are found in Sicily.


  • Class of Minerals: Native Elements
  • Crystalline group: Trimetric
  • Crystal system: Orthorhombic
  • Chemical formula: S.
  • Hardness (Mohrs): 1.5-2.5
  • Density: 2.05 g / cm3


Sulfur is an element widely used in industrial processes, of which the most important is certainly the production of sulfuric acid (H2SO4) for batteries and detergents and also for the production of sulphurous acid (H2SO3). It is used in the production of gunpowder, in the fireworks industry and for the production of flammable match heads. It is also used as a fungicide and in the manufacture of phosphate fertilizer. It is used in the paper industry to whiten products; in the food industry it is used as a preservative.

In agriculture it is used for the production of fertilizers.


In the Christian tradition, sulfur has always been associated with the devil and other demonic presences. According to Catholic doctrine, the damned of hell were forced to burn in the fire generated by sulfur, whose characteristic smell of rotten eggs is an unequivocal sign of the presence of witches and devils.

Many believe that sulfur has an unpleasant odor, in reality it is odorless and tasteless. The classic smell of rotten egg is not given by the mineral itself, but by one of its compounds, hydrogen sulphide (H2S).

For its abundance it is the third mineral present in the human body, after calcium and phosphorus, and it carries out very important healing functions for our body. Sulfur is contained both in two essential amino acids (cysteine ​​and methionine) and in other amino acids (homocysteine ​​and taurine) as well as in some very important enzymes. This makes it an indispensable element in the life of any cell.

Metaphysical angle

In the metaphysical world, sulfur is believed to be an energizing crystal that helps remove negativity and barriers to self-improvement. It would enhance creativity and inspire the imagination. In addition, it would help the hot-tempered by releasing negative energy.