Friday, April 22, 2011

Chrysocolla

It's Earth Day, and the greenest thing on my list of things to blog about is chrysocolla (even though it's mostly blue).

This gorgeous gem is a hydrated copper silicate. It forms near copper ore which is why this unusual specimen was found, more ore less, in my back yard of Bisbee, Arizona:



It forms often as small stalactites or a thin and unstable crust on the surfaces of rocks:





Other copper bearing minerals also occur alongside chrysocolla: malachite, cuprite, and azurite. Quartz occurrences are as ubiquitous as always. Fine specimens of chrysocolla in chalcedony are called gem silica:



And the occasional druzy happens:



Plain chrysocolla is a soft stone at 2.5-3.5 on the Moh's scale. This makes it unsuitable for rings and rough wear. Chrysocolla occuring in chalcedony is suitable for anything you might like to use quartz for.

12 comments:

mcstoneworks said...

Thanks for sharing your knowledge on such a gorgeous stone. Love the druzy chrysocolla.

Happy Earth Day.

Ava said...

Love Crysocolla! Thanks for sharing this information.

Deci said...

One of my favorites!

tjrjewellery said...

Nice background information - such a pretty stone!

Cat said...

Beautiful stones!

BeadSire said...

Its a gorgeous stone, great post.

galadryl said...

Love the colours, instantly give me that Summer/holidays feeling :),thanks for the info.

Stacie @ azoho.com said...

Oh my...another post that has left me drooling all over my keyboard!

Alegria Designs said...

Beautiful colors, I love your posts about stones!

DawninCal said...

What a fantastically beautiful stone. Love the blues and the druzy is really cool!

I really enjoy your posts about the different stones and what makes them special and/or unique.

Bonnie said...

This is an amazing and beautiful stone. I love seeing them in the "raw" form.

AMDesignsbyAngela said...

Beautiful stones...this is one of my favorites...so many variations.