Origin: Ger sphalerit < Gr sphaleros, deceptive (< sphallein, to trip, deceive: for IE base see spoil) + -it, -ite: so named from being mistaken for other ores
See sphalerite in American Heritage Dictionary 4
Origin: Greek sphaleros, slippery, deceitful (from sphallein, to trip, from its being easily mistaken for galena)
Origin: + -ite1.
Learn more about sphalerite