Azurite

saf-ahyuh r

Azurite is a copper carbonate mineral found in the oxidation zones of copper deposits and is considered a secondary ore of copper. Color ranges from light to dark blue, with medium to dark blue being more common. The intensity of its hues is what makes azurite a popular collector's stone. Azurite is commonly found in conjunction with malachite, a green copper carbonate mineral into which it slowly morphs. A mix of the two minerals is known as azurmalachite. Azurite is soft (3.5 on Mohs' scale) and opaque. When used in jewelry, it is usually seen in the form of cabochons or beads.

Azurite Polished
Azurite Classification
Common Name Azurite
Species Azurite
Azurite Optical Properties
Transparency Semitranslucent - Opaque
Refractive Index Over The Limit 1.730-1.836
Tolerance:(+0.010/-0.010)
Birefringence 0.106
Optic Character Biaxial
Optic Sign Positive
Polariscope Reaction Aggregate (AGG), Doubly Refractive (DR)
Fluorescence SWUV: Inert
LWUV: Inert
Pleochroism Dichroic, moderate to strong dark blue and lighter blue
Azurite Characteristic Physical Properties
Hardness 3.5-4
Streak Light Blue
Specific Gravity 3.700-3.890 Typical:3.800
Toughness Poor
Inclusions Azurite sometimes displays botryoidial structure often with matrix and malachite inclusions.
Luster Vitreous, Waxy
Stability Poor
Fracture Conchoidal, Uneven
Cleavage Perfect, in one direction
Azurite Chemistry & Crystallography
Chemical Name copper carbonate hydroxide
Chemical Formula Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2
Crystal System Monoclinic
Chemistry Classification Carbonate

Azurite Colors

  • Blue Azurite Blue

Alternate Names

Chessy Copper, Chessylite, Azure Stone

Countries of Origin

Afghanistan; Pakistan; United States of America (the); Morocco; Unknown; China; Namibia; Russian Federation (the); Mexico; Australia; Serbia; Peru

History

The name azurite comes from its color of azure. The opaque blue of azurite is so perfectly blue it was used centuries ago by painters for blue pigment. Azurite is often found growing with malachite. Each is lovely in its own right, but together they are exceptional. Azurite is a 3 ½ - 4 on the Mohs scale. It's a desirable stone for collectors and is often used decoratively as it is naturally artful. When it's found in granite matrix (the rock in which it forms), it's a compelling blend of blue and white, often with whispers of black and gray.

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More About Azurite

The ancient Egyptians, who were highly creative, believed azurite was an aid to spiritual communication. Azurite has been used, worn, and enjoyed for thousands of years. In contemporary folklore, we read that some people believe it helps to reduce anger. When in matrix, azurite almost looks like an undiscovered planet of icy mountains, and deep blue seas.

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Tim Matthews

Author

Tim Matthews

Tim Matthews is President and Chief Executive Officer of Jewelry Television® (JTV), as well as a member of the company's Board of Directors. He oversees and leads all aspects of the company's powerful omni-digital retail platform that uniquely specializes in fine jewelry and gemstones. His passion for business and gemstones has led him to become a recognized expert in the field of gemology. He is a life member of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) and has earned Gem-A's highest degrees, the Gemmology (FGA) and Diamond (DGA) diplomas. He is also a Graduate Gemologist (GG) of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and has also completed GIA's Graduate Diplomas in Diamonds, Colored Stones and Pearls. Under his leadership, JTV has become the leader in the sourcing and selling of color gemstones and jewelry.

This page was created on June 27, 2014.

This page was last edited on October 24, 2019.