Chrysocolla

Chrysocolla is a copper mineral, often used as an ore. It is generally a mixture of colours, including white, green, blue and aqua.

It often occurs alongside other Copper minerals, including Malachite, Cuprite, and Azurite.

Despite its obvious value as an ore, it is often sold polished – either for jewellery use or as a decorative object.

 

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Appearance, Uses and History

Chrysocolla is primarily used as an ore of Copper, but its bright colours have attracted jewellers since antiquity. As it is relatively affordable and significantly more available than Turquoise, it is often used as a replacement.
The name Chrysocolla comes from the ancient Greek χρυσός (chrysos) and κολλα (kolla), meaning “gold glue”, as it was used to solder Gold pieces by ancient Greek jewellers.

There are a great many polished pieces of Chrysocolla available, but personally I find the natural botryoidal mineral specimens most interesting.


Locales

Chrysocolla can be found in many locations around the world, including Australia, Canada, China, Czechia, Congo, France, Greece, Iran, Mexico, Namibia, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Russia, Spain, and the USA.


Mineralogy

Chemistry
A Copper phyllosilicate mineral with the formula (Cu,Al)2H2Si2O5(OH)4•n(H2O).
Colours and Variations
Chrysocolla is usually a green, blueish green, or blue colour 0 however, it can be an off-blue and does frequently occur with other minerals including other forms of Copper ore.
Streak
White to pale blue-green.
Luster
Vitreous to dull/earthy.
Fracture
Irregular, sub conchoidal.
Transparency
Usually opaque, sometimes translucent.
Crystal habit
Massive, nodular, botryoidal, stalactitic, reniform, fibrous, earthy.
Mohs hardness
2.5 – 3.5 – however, there may be Silica present which can raise the possible hardness to 7. This material is sometimes referred to as ‘Chrysocolla chalcedony’.
Specific Gravity
1.9-2.4
Fluorescence
No, but may occur with minerals which are.
Easiest testing method
None unfortunately, this material can be difficult to distinguish from Shattuckite and other Copper minerals.
Common Treatments

Photos of Chrysocolla

Please note, it is very common for Chrysocolla to occur alongside other Copper minerals including Malachite and Shattuckite; there may be more than one mineral in these photos.

 

Naturalis Biodiversity Center - Chrysocolla - mineral
Chrysocolla displayed at Mining Museum of Akita University
Chrysocolla-118555

Chrysocolla tagil
Malachite-Chrysocolla-24461
Chrysocolla-271399

Hazards and Warnings

Chrysocolla dust can be quite toxic and should not be inhaled or left on the skin.

Almost all rocks, minerals (and, frankly, almost all other substances on earth) can produce toxic dust when cutting, which can cause serious respiratory conditions including silicosis.

When cutting or polishing rocks, minerals, shells, etc, all work should be done wet to minimise the dust, and a suitable respirator or extraction system should be used.


Translations

 

Arabic:

  • الكريزوكولا

Hindi:

  • क्राइसोकोला

Portuguese:

  • crisocola

Bengali:

  • ক্রিসোকোলা

Indonesian:

Punjabi:

English:

  • chrysocolla

Italian:

  • crisocolla

Russian:

  • Хризоколла

French:

  • Chrysocolle

Japanese:

Spanish:

  • Crisocola

German:

  • Chrysokoll

Korean:

  • 크리 소 콜라

Thai:

Gujurati:

Mandarin and Traditional Chinese:

Urdu:


Further Reading / External Links