The name of the mineral is derived from element molybdenum. Molybdenum, from Ancient Greek molybdos, meaning lead. This comes from the fact that molybdenum ores were frequently confused with lead ores. The name molybdenite was used for the first time in 1747.
Molybdenite belongs to a miscellanous group of sulfides. As it contains only one metal in its structures it can be classified as a simple sulfosalt. It crystallizes in hexagonal system as 2H polytype and adopts layer structure. The polytype 3R crystallizes in trigonal system and it is hardly distinguishable from 2H polytype. The mineral forms nice and lustrous crystals with a metallic look that are usually thin and platy. Due to the layer structure it has a perfect cleavage in one direction and has similar properties to those of graphite. It occurs in high-temperature hydrothermal veins and it can be found in pegmatites and skarns as well. Molybdenite is commercially used as a main ore of molybdenum. The mineral is quite abundant. Many valuable pieces come from the USA, China, Mexico, Canada and Bohemia. The specimen presented comes from Moly Hill, Quebec, Canada (valued at 100$).