AZURITE MINERAL HILL
Lovely, sparkly Azurite Mineral Hill cluster from New South Wales, Australia. Good coverage across the piece with fine little crystals and some druzy azurite along with malachite. This specimen has some minor Malachite running through the back of the matrix. Add some exotic colour to your mineral collection with this great Aussie piece.
Mineral Hill, New South Wales, Australia.
7.1cm x 5.8cm x 3.5cm, 106g.
Azurite is a very popular mineral because of its unparalleled color, a deep blue called “azure”, hence its name. Azure is derived from the Arabic word for blue. The color is due to the presence of copper (a strong coloring agent), and the way the copper chemically combines with the carbonate groups (CO3) and hydroxyls (OH). Azurite has been used as a dye for paints and fabrics for eons. Unfortunately, at times its color is too deep and larger crystals can appear black. Small crystals and crusts show the lighter azure color well. Azurite is often associated with its colorful close cousin, malachite. Green malachite is closely associated with azurite in many ways. Not only do they frequently occur together (pictured above), they also have very similar formulae. Malachite can also replace azurite, making a pseudomorph, or an exact copy of an azurite crystal (only now instead of being blue, it would be green). Compare their formulas: Azurite’s formula: Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2, Malachite’s formula: Cu2(CO3)(OH)2.