Chemical Composition: Cu3(Co3)2(OH)2 Cleavage: Perfect Color: Blue Crystal System: Monoclinic Form/Habit: Tabular, prismatic Fracture: Tabular, prismatic Gravity: 3.8 Hardness: 3.5-4 Luminescence: None Luster: Viterous to dull to earthy Streak: Blue Transparency: Transparent to opaque
Where does Azurite come from?
Azurite is found near copper deposits in numerous locations worldwide. Some of the more notable deposits are in Australia, Austria, China, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Pakistan, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, United Kingdom and United States.
What is Azurite?
Azurite is a relatively rare Carbonite mineral. Carbonates are an important part of the Earth’s crust and are found in sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks. Carbonates are minerals which contain the carbonate group CO3 as their basic structural unit. They form in a trigonal system with one Carbon atom centrally located between 3 Oxygen atoms. There are over 70 types of Carbonate minerals, the most common being Dolomite, Siderite, and Calcite. Rarer but still well-known Carbonate minerals include Aragonite, Magnesite, Malachite and Rhodochrosite. Azurite has a rich deep blue color.
How is Azurite formed?
Azurite is a rare secondary, copper-derive mineral. It s formed when carbon-dioxide-rich water reacts with subsurface copper ores. The Carbonic acid in the waters dissolves some of the copper, which can then transported in liquid form to another geochemical environment. If the new location has a hotter temperature, the water will evaporate leaving trace minerals behind which can then form into Azurrite. If, later on the Azurite is exposed to the open air and allowed to weather, it will transform into green Malachite. Occasionally, stones are found that capture this process in action, a striking stone known simply as Azurite-Malachite.
Typically mined in Copper quarries and in relationship to their primary stone. Azurite is usually massive or nodular, but it can also sometimes form as a stalactite. When found in crystal form, it can have as many as 100 faces!
Is Azurite natural?
All Azurites can be considered fully natural, enhanced only by cutting and polishing. Some Azurites, especially fine gemstones, will be coated with a fine resin or other substances to stop the natural weathering process that transforms Azurite into Malachite. The resin helps to stabilize the color.
Julie Abouzelof is the owner of Moonrise Crystals and an advocate for responsibly sourced gems and minerals. Her first career was in education teaching history, geology and anthropology, as well as working with special-needs students. She is now a heart-centered entrepreneur who encourages mindfulness and positive action to heal ourselves and the world. Julie lives in Hawaii with her lover and a little parrot named Darwin.