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Azurite

Posted by Rock Currier  
avatar Azurite
November 03, 2008 09:24PM
Click here to view Azurites from Tsumeb, Namibia. and here for Azurites from Bisbee, Arizona, USA. and here for Best Minerals A,and here for Best Minerals A to Z. and here for Fast Navigation of completed Best Minerals articles.


Can you help make this a better article? What good localities have we missed? Can you supply pictures of better specimens than those we show here? Can you give us more and better information about the specimens from these localities? Can you supply better geological or historical information on these localities? After each set of pictures there should be some descriptive text. If none appears it means that we need someone to tell us about the specimens from that locality and something about the geology of the occurrence.


Azurite
Cu32+(CO3)2(OH)2 monoclinic

Azurite, Touissit, Morocco 6.8cm© Rob Lavinsky


A separate book could be written about azurite. It is eternally popular with collectors because of the midnight blue color and typically shiny crystals. It comes in beautifully long bladed crystals, as rose-like floaters and balls and as specimens that show beautiful sparkling drusy crusts and botryoidal masses. Some of the smaller prismatic crystals are transparent and an of such a dark blue color that one can almost could imagine that they are viewing the top end of the ultra violet band of wavelengths. It is found in many different mines, mostly copper mines, is often associated with many other interesting minerals and is sometimes partially or completely altered to malachite.

Ask any American collector to tell you what the two best azurite localities are and they will say Tsumeb and Bisbee. If you ask a European they will include Morocco. Which is the best? At the risk of being ridden out of town on a rail, I would have to say Tsumeb, but when you see a great piece from Bisbee you think, “Well maybe Bisbee produced the best”.
[Rock Currier 9 November 2008]


Azurite
Australia
New South Wales, Yancowinna Co., Broken Hill

Azurite & Cerussite ~14cm across©
Azurite ~9cm across©


Azurite with malachite, 5.5 cm tall© Rob Lavinsky
Azurite 4cm across© 2001 John H. Betts

A number of mines at Broken Hill produced good azurites but collectors generally agree that the Block 14 mine produced the best. Albert Chapman’s best Broken Hill azurite was from this mine and had lustrous prismatic crystals up to 9 cm growing with a little cerussite. The Proprietary mine also produced some fine azurite specimens. A specimen in the collection of the Department of Mineral Resources of New South Wales has crystals of almost 7 cm. Cerussite is a common association of Broken Hill azurites. Crystals up to 15 cm were found.
[Rock Currier 9 November 2008]


Azurite
Australia
New South Wales, Blaxland Co., Mount Hope, Mount Hope Copper Mine

Azurite 4.7cm© Joseph A. Freilich
Azurite & Malachite, 3.8cm across© Joseph A. Freilich


Azurite
Australia
New South Wales, Cobar.

This locality does produce decent azurite specimens. We need someone to tell us about them and upload a few pictures.


Azurite
Australia
New South Wales, Kennedy Co., Condobolin, Talingaboolba, Mineral Hill Mine

Azurite, 4 cm across.© 2002 John H. Betts


This open pit mine was on its last legs when an earth moving machine opened a pocket that contained only azurite crystals. It was not a big pocket but the specimens it produced were extraordinary. Bladed, shiny, sharp crystals as singles and as groups up to 10 cm long and a half inch wide. This is a little known occurrence.
(John Chapman) collected most of the specimens. See if you can get him to tell you about the find.
[Rock Currier 9 November 2008]


Azurite
Australia
Northern Territory, Gardiner Range, Alice Springs, Areyonga, Malbunka Copper mine

Azurite ~7cm diameter© Rob Lavinsky
Azurite ~4.5cm diameter© Greg Andrew

Flat, discoidal concretions up to 25 cm. “They are roughly discoidal in shape but the rare ones are figure-8 shaped, this the result of 2 discs having intergrown on their edges. The largest that I know of weighs over 2.5 kgs (5.6 lbs.) and is a figure 8 nearly a foot in diameter. (It is a prized member of my own collection.) Colors vary from an attractive sky to marine-blue and the more unusual ones show sharp-edged, roughly tabular, 2 to 15 mm crystals growing radially on the surfaces and particularly the outer edges.. Rather strangely, some of the discs are convex while others are concave and oftentimes the outer edges are razor-thin and very sharp. Good undamaged specimens command fancy prices in Europe, but scientifically speaking they still remain a mineral curiosity…The locality is certain: white clay banks on the Aryonga Aboriginal Mission area, 160 miles west of Alice Springs…Several experts have expressed the opinion that they are azurite replacements of a form of marine life or algae…these nodules should not be confused with the somewhat similar appearing ones from the Sir Domenic mine in the Flinders Range of South Australia…The Sir Domenic ones are usually smaller in size, more ball shaped, and generally have larger crystals covering most of the surfaces. They are sometimes pure malachite or more often a mixture of malachite and azurite wherein the malachite has formed as a pseudomorph after azurite.”1
Bob Sullivan was a dealer who really put a lot of pressure on customers to buy what he had. I and many other collectors thought that his prices were way over the top and always wondered how he ever sold anything. At the time of this azurite description he had a number of these specimens in stock and I think he described these azurites in such glowing detail in hopes of helping his sales of them. These specimens are interesting but all experienced collectors I knew were saving their money to get a good azurite from Tsumeb or Bisbee.
1. Bob Sullivan’s Letter from Europe, Mineralogical Record, Vol. 10, 1979, p121.
[Rock Currier 9 November 2008]


Azurite
Australia
Queensland, Chillagoe-Herberton District, Mungana, Girofla Mine

Azurite ~12cm across©



Azurite
Australia
Queensland, Mt Isa - Cloncurry area, Gunpowder District, Boomerang Mine (Matlock Mine; Mt Maggie Mine)

Azurite, Boomerang mine 7cm tall© Rob Lavinsky
Azurite ~7cm©

Demetrius Pohl tells of collecting at this locality in his youth in August of 1972, and it is worth reading.
“I dug the azurites at the Mt Maggie mine about 80 miles (north-northwest) from Mt Isa…The guy who owned it was a Czech, Julius Takacs. He'd sent two truck loads of kaolin full of azurite balls to the Mt Isa smelter, about 40 tons and a buddy working at the smelter told me about it so I tracked Jules down to this ratty little hole in the ground. All that was left was some kaolin fault gouge in the back of a stope 80 ft underground where I manage to get some xtl clusters, fist size to head size. The biggest one about 8" diameter and partially converted to malachite I traded to the Queensland Museum. The smaller ones were better and averaged about 3" diameter. On the loading pad at the mine mouth there was still about 6" of compacted kaolin that his front end loader hadn't picked up. I dug this up and got several hundred, maybe a thousand small 0.5-2" balls and single xtls out of it. Jules renamed the mine the Boomerang which caused a great deal of confusion because there was another mine already called that about 50 miles east of where he was. Took me a while to figure out what the problem was.”1

“Azurite occurs in a wide range of habits at the Boomerang mine. Individual pockets less than 30 cm across may contain several isolated clusters of azurite, each displaying a different habits. The color varies from a light blue to blue-black and while crystals are sometimes translucent, they are more commonly opaque. Small, siliceous fragments are often cemented to the crystals. Some of the more prominent habits are discussed below. (1.) Individual prismatic crystals reaching 2 cm in length and multiple growth crystals reaching 8 cm in length are common. Such specimens are often highly lustrous and dark blue in color. (2). Spherical aggregates or roses up to 10 cm in diameter are composed of 1 to 3 cm prismatic crystals; fan and bow-tie shaped aggregates have also been found. (3.) Blocky, blue-black, 1 cm wide crystals have been found in clusters up to 5 cm across. (4.) Curved rhombohedral crystals in attractive miniature-sized clusters are sometimes found. Such crystals are generally a medium to dark blue color. (5.) Nodules of fine to medium grained, light to medium blue azurite reaching 20 cm across are often found. (6.) Veins of massive azurite reaching 1 cm in thickness are common. Only occasionally do such veins open up to produce well formed crystals.”2
1. Demetrius Pohl, personal communication 2001
2. Robert Sielecki, Mineralogical Record, Vol. 19, 1988, p487.
[Rock Currier 9 November 2008]


Azurite
Australia
South Australia, Mt. Lofty Ranges, North Mt. Lofty Ranges, Burra Burra Mine

Azurite, 2.3 cm tall© M. Willoughby. 06


Azurite is present in two distinct forms: 1. As sharp, slender, individual blades reaching 5 cm in length. Found encrusting chrysocolla; occasionally showing some alteration to malachite. 2. As stunning rosettes of translucent, brilliantly lustrous crystals, reaching 5 cm in diameter, associated with libethenite and chrysocolla. For sheer beauty these groups are foremost among Burra’s most attractive specimens.”1 I have no information on how many good specimens were found. Probably the best of them would bring several thousand dollars.
“The Burra orebody lies some 150 km north-northeast of Adelaide… in the northern Mt. Lofty Ranges. Discovered in 1845, the mine was worked virtually non-stop until impoverished sulfides were met with in 1877. During this period 238,413 tons of 22-percent copper ore were removed. The mine was reopened using open-cut methods in 1971 by Samin Ltd. after the proving of 3.3 million tons of 1.5 percent copper ore by the South Australia Mines Department. In 1978 the assets of the company were taken over by Adelaide and Wallaroo Fertilizers Ltd., who terminated mining of the orebody in late 1981 after mineable ore was exhausted. The first period of mining at Burra saw some superb specimens come to light. Compact mammilary malachite studded with small but lustrous crystals of azurite are hallmarks of this mine and are masterpieces in their own right. These, however, have recently been overshadowed by the stunning crystal groups encountered in the “libethenite zone.”1 The libethenite zone was an area in the mine of about 2000m3 that contained dolomitic breccia and mineralized vugs up to 30 cm in which good azurite specimens were often found.
1. Scott Bywater, Mineralogical Record, Vol. 15, 1984, p106 - 2 Mineralogical Record, Vol. 15, 1984, p105.
[Rock Currier 9 November 2008]


Azurite
Australia
South Australia, Arkaroola, Sir Dominick Mine


Azurite
Australia
Western Australia, Whim Creek Mine

These were all or almost all malachite or chrysocolla pseudomorphs after azurite. These were somewhat blocky crystals up to about 3 cm long and a 15 mm thick. They were mostly found on a breccia associated with micro, bipyramidal, orange wulfenites.
[Rock Currier 9 November 2008]


Azurite
Austria
Tyrol, North Tyrol, Inn valley, Brixlegg - Schwaz area, St Gertraudi, Brixlegg - Rattenberg

Azurite on barite with malachite, 4.2 cm© Rob Lavinsky
Azurite, 12x7cm across©


Azurite
Brazil
Northeast Region, Bahia, Seabra

Malachite & Azurite, 7 cm across© Rob Lavinsky
Azurite & Malachite 9.4cm across© Rob Lavinsky


Azurite 9.2cm across© Rob Lavinsky


Azurite
China
Guangdong Province, Yangjiang Prefecture,Yangchun Co., Shilu Mine

Azurite 6cm across© Jiangbin
Azurite 6cm across© 2003 John H. Betts


Azurite rose, 8.2 cm across© fabreminerals.com
Azurite & Malachite ~4cm©

This locality has produced thousands of floater type azurite roses; some were quite good, ranging in size up to about 13 cm. When they were initially offered they were bringing over a thousand dollars for the best ones. More and more of them kept coming out and the price kept coming down. In London I was able to buy several hundred fine little floater roses in the 3 to 5 cm range for about $12 each, which I sold very well. The Shilu copper mine lies in the Xishan mining area near Mashui town which lies about 10 km southwest of Yangchun City. Yangchun City is situated in the southwest of Guangdong Province. Copper mining here dates back to the Han Dynasty or about 2000 years ago. The Chinese government started large scale open pit mining in the early 1960s with peak mining levels in the 1970s and was closed in 1998. The Shilu copper mine produced high-quality oxidized ore from a zone of karst Carboniferous limestone. Iron ore has been found with the azurite and malachite and is thought to have originated from a hydrothermal source.1
1. Fine Minerals of China, Guanghua Liu, 2006, published by AAA Minerals AG, Zug Switzerland, ISBN: 3-033-00858 p. 74
[Rock Currier 9 November 2008]


Azurite
China
Jiangxi Province, Jiujiang County, Chengmen Township, Lianmeng Village, Chengmenshan copper mine

Azurite rose 5cm across© Brian Wang
Azurite rose, 5 cm across© Wang Minerals

The copper mine that this azurite comes from is about two hours drive south of Daye city, Hubei province, just south of the border in Jiangxi Province. It is an open cast mine and is worked with a great deal of hand labor. The mine is owned by the municipality and the workers collect a lot of the azurite to sell on the side for pigment and specimens. Many azurite specimens from this locality are in nodule form and found in clay which is often not easy to clean from around the small azurite crystals that cover the surfaces of the specimens. Many of the specimens are floaters. I imported about two tons of these specimen. Most of them were fairly shiny and dark blue but even the best of them have not yet matched the quality of the good Bisbee roses. We were selling flats of these specimens for up to $300 per flat of 6, 12, 24, 35 or 54 specimens each. Take your pick. The associated minerals are native copper, cuprite, brochantite, chalcopyrite and delafossite. The native copper and delafossite are mainly from a nearby small village mine, the Weijiawan Mine. Chengmenshan means town-gate-mountain. The copper-dominated deposit is part of the huge metallogenic belt of south-central China running through the provinces of Hubei, Jiangtxi, Anhui and Jiangsu. The entire belt has more than 200 copper deposits some of which are well known specimen producers and are generally formed as copper/gold porphyry and skarn deposits. The Chengmenshan copper/sulfur mine has been know since the Warring States Era (403-221 BCE). There are a number of small privately-owned mines besides the state owned mine.1
1. Fine Minerals of China, Guanghua Liu, 2006, published by AAA Minerals AG, Zug Switzerland, ISBN: 3-033-00858 p.327.
[Rock Currier 9 November 2008]


Azurite
China
Anhui Province, Chizhou Prefecture, Guichi District, Anquing-Quichi Mining District, Liufengshan Mine

Azurite 6.5cm across© Rob Lavinsky
Azurite & Malachite 5.7cm across© Rob Lavinsky


Azurite and malachite, 8.5 cm tall© Rob Lavinsky
Azurite 10cm across© Rob Lavinsky


Azurite 6.7cm across© Rob Lavinsky
Azurite & Malachite 6.4cm across© Rob Lavinsky


Azurite rose 5cm across© Rob Lavinsky


Azurite and malachite specimens from this mine started to reach the market in 2002 when dealers from Guilin and other specimen centers became aware of them. The mine has been operating as an open pit since 1970 and ore has also been produced from several shafts in the 80s. The township owns the mine and local farmers produce ore from several operations around the main mine. The mine is located at the town of Lishan about 20 km south of Chizhou City. The Tongshan copper mine is located near by and it produces malachite, native copper and azurite. The Liuufengshan mine is in a skarn, formed under middle to high temperature and the ore-body and the ore-body is "controlled strata bound".1
1. Fine Minerals of China, Guanghua Liu, 2006, published by AAA Minerals AG, Zug Switzerland, ISBN: 3-033-00858 p.27.
[Rock Currier, 25 December 08]


Azurite
Congo, Democratic Republic of
Katanga (Shaba), Katanga Copper Crescent, Central Area, Shangulowé Mine

Azurite, 9.2 cm across.© Paul De Bondt



Azurite
France
Rhône-Alpes, Rhône, Chessy-les-Mines

Azurite ~2cm©
Azurite ~2,5cm©


Azurite ~8cm©
Azurite ~7cm©


Azurite 6,3cm across© Paul De Bondt
Azurite 4.5cm across© Rob Lavinsky


Azurite after Cuprite ~23mm©
Azurite ~7cm©


Azurite 2.6cm across© Rob Lavinsky
Azurite to malachite, 5.5cm across© Peter Haas


Azurite rose 2.8cm across© Rob Lavinsky
Azurite FOV 3.5cm© Georges BRET

So now, if you have a good azurite from Bisbee, Tsumeb, and Morocco, what other good azurites can you get? Those from the old locality of Chessy should be high on the list. The mines here are very old but have produced many fine specimens over the years and any collector would be proud to own one. The problem is that you rarely ever see one offered for sale. They are even harder to get than good azurites from Bisbee and Tsumeb because most of them, over the years have made their way into institutional collections. Many of the specimens were associated with sandstone. Here are pictures of four fine specimens from Chessy. Chessy is also noted for its wonderful little floater octahedrons of malachite after cuprite. Not well known are the few similar specimens of azurite after cuprite from Chessy. The best one I ever saw and it is pictured here was in the collection of Arthur Montgomery in New York city. It is rather lustrous and measured almost 3 cm. These are almost as scarce as hen’s teeth or chicken lips.
“The Museum of Lyons certainly has the richest collection of chessylite specimens in the world. As early as 1820 the collection was established by purchases and gifts. One of the most important groups is made up of specimens given in 1853, but azurites have been purchased and donated in the second half of the 19th century. Now there are about 100 specimens in all. They range widely in size and aspect and show all the different habits. To better organize the specimens for the visitor it is possible to distinguish: a) massive lumps with crystals set in groups on top. One of these pieces weighs about 25 pounds and is a deep Prussian blue. b) “kidney-stones” which look like flint nodules. When sawed they show thin, blue needles radiating from the center. There are many pieces of this kind ranging from 1 in. to 8 in, in diameter. c) Several specimens are composed entirely of platy crystals piled on upon the other, sometimes twinned. A very fine piece is over 10 in. long and is a dark blue color which makes it difficult to photograph. d) A large number of balls and clusters of balls are melon-shaped and average 2-3 in. in diameter. They are lined all over the surface and are a lighter blue. e) There are many other habits too. Some crystals look like stalactites, 2-3 in. long set on flat bases. The stalactites look like smithsonite but are various shades of blue, from very light to dark Prussian blue.”1 It is hard to believe there are only 100 specimens of azurite in this museum. This number may be a mistake. At a minimum, there should be hundreds of them. In addition, the famous malachite pseudomorphs after cuprite are not mentioned at all. I suspect that, like so many old museums, many of the best specimens have disappeared over the years.
1. M. Santoni, Mineralogical Record, Vol. 2, 1971, p72.
“To me, easily the most outstanding collection offered at St. Marie was a table nearly covered with chessylite, the famous French azurite from Chessy les Mines, Chessy, France. It was offered by a French strahler who, with his three young, broad shouldered, teenaged sons, had spent virtually all their spare time for nearly a year combing the dumps of this famous old mine, moving many tons of waste in their search. The result, however, was the finest and largest collection of chessylite I have ever seen. They had about 200 specimens, mostly in the thumbnail to miniature sizes, about one-third of which were in a very good to superb class. Almost every known form of chessylite was represented, mostly as bladed crystal aggregates, some spherical, including interconnected spheres, others football-shaped, and a few “bow ties.”. Virtually all of the specimens were floaters so typical of Chessy. Tiny yellowish quartz crystals could also be seen adhering to some of the azurite groups. Color was the usual rich, deep blue with little translucence, characteristic of this locality, with some of the azurite so dark in color it appeared to be almost black. Many of the examples were unusually brilliant for chessylite and I suspect were dug from deep within the dumps, as they showed no signs of weathering. I have known of some collectors who have dug on these dumps for a week and never found a single good specimen.”1
1. Bob Sullivan, Mineralogical Record, Vol. 11, 1980, p28.
“France is not a richly mineralized country and interesting mining places are rare. The quartz deposits of the Oisan in the Alps and the copper mine of Chessy near Lyons are almost all that are worth mentioning. Chessy is a medieval village situated in the south of the region called “Le Beaujolias”. It is only a 20 mile drive along route no. 485 from Lyons to the old mine, or rather to the dumps, scattered over about half a square mile north of the village. The mine has been closed for more than a century…It is commonly agreed that its origins can be traced back to Roman times. …the mines were of little import in the History of industry and mineralogy until “azure copper” was discovered in 1811…This discovery came about quite by chance. A chief miner, Cristian Woeler, had come from Germany to supervise the mine and to try increase the output of copper so badly needed in that time of the Napoleonic Wars. He discovery a magnificent ore load when cutting a gallery from south to east in the layers of sandstone. From 1811 to 1845, the new copper ore discover was worked quite extensively. The output was about 150 metric tons a year and a hundred miners were at work in the pits and galleries. The most important gallery was about 150 meters long and 3 meters wide. The vein itself had been traced in the sandstone and clay for a distance of 400 meters. The azurite (chessylite) was found rather in geodes or pockets than in lodes or veins. There was, for instance, a famous “blue grotto” which was so high that visitors could stand in it and marvel at the magnificent crystals glittering in all shades of blue. About 1845, the azurite pockets gave out, and copper could not be profitably mined any more.”1 Reading about the production of azurite from this mine is exciting, but when you read similar accounts of the deposit at Bisbee you realize that this one yielded only a tiny percentage of the specimens of the great deposit at Bisbee.
1. M. Santoni, Mineralogical Record, Vol. 2, 1971, p69-70.
“The name chessylite was given by Brook and Miller in 1852 to the azure copper mineral found at Chessy. Before that time azurite was known, of course, since it had been mined with malachite in Russia. Brooke and Miller wanted to give a special name to the newly found ore because of its fine and varied crystallized forms.”1
1. Mineralogical Record, Vol. 2,1971 , p72.
[Rock Currier 25 December 2008]


Azurite
France
Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Var, Pradet, Cap Garonne Mine

Azurite on olivenite with malachite balls, 6 cm high© jm.CLAUDE


Azurite & Malachite FOV 8cm© jm.CLAUDE
Azurite FOV~17cm© jm.CLAUDE

This is a famous old mine known for a good number of interesting secondary ore minerals. Someone who know more about the place should step up and help make this section better. I suspect the one pictured here may be the all time champ for the locality.
[Rock Currier, 25 December 08]


Azurite
Germany
Hesse, Spessart Mts, Freigericht, Altenmittlau, Schmidt dolomite quarry

Azurite FOV 9cm© Hupperichs/Welting
Azurite FOV 3x2cm© rare-X.com


Azurite FOV 1,7cm© Volker Betz
Azurite FOV 1,5cm© Peter Haas


Quarry in Zechstein dolomite with lead and copper ores.
Located near Altenmittlau, 2.5 km NW of Freigericht and about 16 km E of Hanau.
This quarry has yielded some of the best German azurites, but is now abandoned and being backfilled.


Azurite
Germany
North Rhine-Westphalia, Bergisches Land, Rösrath, Hoffnungsthal, Leibnitz-Dante Mine

Azurite, 15x11cm© Harjo
Azurite FOV 15cm© Harjo


Azurite FOV 1cm© Harjo
Azurite FOV 1cm© Harjo

Ancient copper mine, working copper impregnations in sandstones.
Located near the village of Hoffnungsthal, 3 km NNE of Rösrath and 5.5 km west of Overath. Amongst collectors the dumps of the mine are nicknamed "Blaue Halde" (blue dump) because of the abundance of Azurite containing rocks on the surface of the dumps. Excellent large cabinet specimens have been found in the 20th century, since then the dumps haven been extensively searched by collectors making it difficult to find larger display specimens (although thumbnail specimens and micromounts are still easily being found)
In 2005 a Dutch group of collectors located an Azurite vein in-situ that delivered outstanding cabinet specimens of Azurite reminiscent of the old finds. Recently in early 2010 some excellent cabinet specimens were found when a small part of the dump had been cut to fill two truckloads for use as road-fill. [Harjo Neutkens 2010]


Azurite
Greece
Attikí (Attica; Attika) Prefecture, Lavrion (Laurion; Laurium) District, Lavrion District Mines

Azurite after Calcite, 4.5cm wide© A&M



Azurite
Greece
Attikí (Attica; Attika) Prefecture, Lavrion (Laurion; Laurium) District, Lavrion District Mines, Agios Konstantinos [St Constantine] (Kamareza; Kamariza), Kamareza Mines.

Azurite 6.5cm across© Christine Rust
Azurite & Conichalcite, micromount© Steve Rust


2mm Azurite & Agardite© Steve Rust


“As fine, indigo blue, translucent crystals to 11 mm long, as globular crystalline aggregates and crystals replaced by malachite, Crystals are smooth and sharp, generally of flattened prismatic habit with complex terminations.”1
1. Mineralogical Record, Vol. 7, 1976, p124.
[Rock Currier 9 November 2008]


Azurite
Hungary
Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplúj Co., Rudabányai Mts., Rudabánya, Andrássy I Mine.

Azurite, 6cm wide© Tibor Horváth



Azurite
Kazakhstan
Zhezqazghan Oblysy (Dzezkazgan Oblast'; Dzhezkazgan Oblast'; Djezkazgan Oblast'; Jezkazgan Oblast'), Dzhezkazgan.

Azurite & Malachite 4.2cm© fabreminerals.com
Azurite & Malachite 5.8mm© fabreminerals.com


Azurite 3.1cm© Rob Lavinsky
Azurite rose 3.1cm© fabreminerals.com


Azurite 5.2cm© fabreminerals.com



Azurite
Mexico
Chihuahua, Mun. de Manuel Benavides, Sierra Rica

Azurite on Quartz 7cm wide© Joseph Polityka



Azurite
Mexico
Sonora, Mun. de Cananea, Cuitaca, Milpillas Mine

Azurite & Malachite 4.6cm wide© fabreminerals.com
Azurite & Malachite 8.2 cm wide© Rob Lavinsky


Azurite 6cm tall© Rob Lavinsky


The Milpillas mine lies within the Municipio de Cananea, 17 km north (by road) of the village of Cuitaca. When azurite specimens first came to Tucson, they were reportedly occurring near Nacozari. Later investigation and visitation revealed the actual location to be northwest of Cananea, which itself is northwest of Nacozari (Marcus J. Origlieri info). The specimens from here have become surprisingly good though not yet world class. They are certainly good enough that if I have a chance to get a good one for less than many thousands of dollars I will certainly do so.
[Rock Currier, 25 December 08]


Azurite
Mexico
Sonora, Mun. de Yécora

Azurite 5cm across©


This specimen in the Romero collection in the University of Arizona at Tucson is the only good azurite I have ever seen from this locality. I hope someone can tell me more about this place than I know, which is nothing.
[Rock Currier 9 November 2008]


Azurite
Mexico
Zacatecas, Mun. de Concepción del Oro, Concepción del Oro

Azurite & Malachite ~2.5cm© Joseph A. Freilich
Azurite & Malachite 5.1cm tall© Rob Lavinsky


Azurite 2.6cm© Rob Lavinsky
Azurite ~8cm across©


Azurite & Malachite ~9cm©


“Distinctive, Roman-sword-shaped crystals, incrusting limonite, were imported into the U.S. in the early 1950’s from Concepcion del Oro…Of unusual transparency, and commonly only ⅛-¼ inch long, they rarely reached a length of one inch, and on one specimen I saw, two inches.”1 Collectors love these because the crystals are usually slender, very sharp, and transparent. It is surprisingly hard to find a good one of these. A fine example of this type is in the collection of my late friend Jim Minette of Boron California. I am sure that if you offered $1000 dollars for it you would be just laughed at. Perhaps the best of this type is the specimen pictured here in the Romero Collection at the University of Arizona. Also pictured here, the B specimen, and seldom seen in collections is an azurite specimen from Concepcion del Oro with much stouter, shiny azurites on a little matrix. This specimen is also in the Romero collection.
1. Richard Bideaux, Mineralogical Record, Vol. 4, 1973, p34.
[Rock Currier 9 November 2008]


Azurite
Morocco
Meknès-Tafilalet Region, Khénifra Province, Kerrouchene

Azurite, 3.7 cm high© Tony Peterson
Azurite 2.8cm© fabreminerals.com


Azurite 3.5cm© Rob Lavinsky
Azurite to Malachite 4.2cm© Fabre


Azurite, 6 cm high© Kristalle and Crys
Azurite 2.5cm© Kristalle and CC


“Azurite crystals from Kerroucher, Morocco, were offered by a couple of French and Belgian dealers and some of them were surprisingly good. They consisted of mostly well terminated, large, blocky crystals up to 1 cm in thickness and nearly 3 cm in length. In many respects they resembled their Southwest African brothers but lacked the rich blue color of some other better Tsumeb crystals. Few were on matrix and many were somewhat damaged, but they were one of the few bargains around.”1
1. Mineralogical Record, Vol. 10, 1979, p123.
[Rock Currier 9 November 2008]

Azurite
Morocco
Oriental Region, Oujda-Angad Province, Touissit District, Touissit

Azurite, 6.8 cm high© Rob Lavinsky
Azurite ~3cm© Kristalle and Crys


Azurite 6.1cm© Edwards Mineral
Azurite 9.5cm© Kristalle and Crys


Azurite 6cm© Dan Weinrich
Azurite 5.4cm© Rob Lavinsky


Azurite rose 3.0cm
Azurite, 5.8 cm across© fabreminerals.com


Azurite 5.5cm tall© fabreminerals.com


“The azurite pocket was a huge one, some 5 meters by 5 meters, and was hit late this past summer when miners crossed a small vein of copper ore at the 200-foot level, reportedly the first copper ever encountered…The crystals generally are large, ranging up to 12 cm length for the super ones with quite a few in the 5-10 cm range. One of the longest crystals found is a 12-cm beauty about 1½ cm thick and nearly 1 cm wide, and yet it had been broken off by a miner considerably above its point of attachment to the matrix. Many types of crystallizations were found, and most of the crystals are deeply striated parallel to the c-axis. The most beautiful of the specimens are those with long, thin, very transparent, rich blue azurite crystals reminiscent of those from Zacatecas, Mexico, some years back, but considerably larger. Some of these are over 1 cm wide and up to nearly 4 cm in length-truly magnificent, particularly in clusters. However, most of the crystals are a deep blue to a very dark black-blue. A fair number of matrix specimens were recovered but on many of them, the crystals are not really free-standing, but laid rather flatly on the reddish-brown matrix in parallel growth. Many of the azurite specimens show a partial pseudomorphing to malachite and a few are completely pseudomorphed, some in attractive clusters of crystals 4-5 cm in length. Of over a thousand pieces examined by one Swiss dealer, only one showed an azurite crystal with the so-called “Bailey azurite” flat termination. It was quickly popped into his collection. The term “Bailey azurite,” incidentally, came into use in Europe back in the spring of 1973 when a miner by the name of Bailey recovered a small quantity of flat-terminated azurite crystals from a single pocket in the Tsumeb mine. They had occurred only once some 17 years before at this mine and were deeply and attractively striated on the end terminations as well as the sides- truly collector items…It is difficult to say how many specimens were recovered from the huge pocket at the Touissit mine but best estimates indicated between 3000 and 4000 specimens, mostly single crystals. Unfortunately many of the crystals are badly etched and many others were severely damaged during their removal and subsequent transport by the miners in their first encounter with a pocket of super minerals.” “One Swiss dealer who personally examined nearly 2000 of the specimens stated that only 5% were really very good and possibly an additional 10% were in the acceptable class. This low yield showed up in the pricing of these minerals, which initially was not all that bad; at Altdorf one could buy a pretty good single crystals about 3 cm long by 1 cm wide for about 75 SF (about $45). As the impact of the find became known and many of the specimens recirculated through the hands of one or more dealers, prices rose quickly and sharply with some of the better groups reaching the multi-thousand dollar range. The best specimens, those close to dinner-plate-size superb matrix pieces, were sold at between $12,000 and $13,000 each…During show time at the above 3 bourses, European collectors were really buzzing about the news and typically the air was full of wild stories about this rather remote locality. There were stories of Europeans being caught in the mine, some being thrown in jail, wild escapes from the town and you name it. Now that the dust has settled, however, it appears that none of the four European dealers involved in the coup were actually jailed, but several were picked up and questioned and also told to get out and stay out of Touissit. Moroccan minerals are protected by an antiquities type of law but the authorities were more concerned with the thievery from the mine aspect and at least a couple of the miners reportedly ended up in jail.”1 Before the Munich show opened, an American collector who usually wishes to remain anonymous, bought many of the best specimens from one of the principal European dealers and they remain in his collection to this day. This mine is one of about 8 such mines in the district and the main shaft is almost in the town of Touissit. From the top of the mine dumps you have a good view of Algeria which is about a km distant and the border which is marked with a bulldozed swath of earth, is easy to see in the barren desert terrain.
1. Bob Sullivan, Mineralogical Record, Vol. 11, 1980, p113.
[Rock Currier 9 November 2008]


Azurite
Morocco
Oriental Region, Oujda-Angad Province, Touissit District, Touissit, Bou Bekker (Bou Becker)

Azurite & Malachite 5.9cm© fabreminerals.com
Azurite 3.7cm© fabreminerals.com


Azurite, 3.5 cm high© fabreminerals.com


“Horst Burkard…had returned from Morocco just days before the show, bringing several dozen fine azurite groups from the abandoned Bou Beker mine near Touissit. These were all collected in late January by local residents. Large miniatures to medium-sized specimens comprised the lot, varying in habit from bunches of rosette-like flat plates to blocky crystals showing bright blue faces (due to a preferential second-generation azurite overgrowth) alternating with black faces. Some specimens consist of azurite crystal groups on malachite, and others are floaters, free of matrix.”1
1. Mineralogical Record, Vol. 21, 1990, p256.
[Rock Currier 9 November 2008]


Azurite
Morocco
Meknès-Tafilalet Region, Er Rachidia Province, Tarhbalt, Alnif, Oumjrane Mine

Azurite & Malachite 4.3 cm high© fabreminerals.com
Azurite on Malachite 6.2cm© fabreminerals.com


Azurite 4.2cm© fabreminerals.com



Azurite
Russia
“Also in fine crystals in Siberia”1 I have seen some Russian specimens that are OK, but never anything really fine.
Urals Mountains, Nischne-Tagilisk. I have a modest specimen in my collection from this locality that has a bright 2 cm crystal on malachite pseudomorphs after azurite. It is an old Anton Burger specimen that was traded to Earl Calvert just after the second world war. I really don’t know much about Russian azurites, but certainly I can’t believe that the one in my collection is the best one . The specimens that do exist are from very old localities.
1. A System of Mineralogy, 6th edition, Edward Salisbury Dana p297.
[Rock Currier 9 November 2008]


Azurite
England

Azurite…“…has been met with in Cornwall at Wheal Buller near Redruth, of a beautiful colour…Formerly at Huels Gorland, Unity, Virgin, in Gwennap; at Carharrack near St. Day. At Ting Tang, in Gwennap, very prettily crystallized. At Huel Muttrell, formerly. Occurs indeed, though sparingly, at most of the Cornish mines. Once, prettily crystallized at Wheal Mill Pool.”1 Other localities are listed elsewhere in England, Ireland and Scotland but with even less descriptive information than the meager examples above. There is no information about the size of the crystals, the quantity of specimens found or where any good examples of them might be.
1. The Mineralogy of Great Britain and Ireland by Greg & Lettsom, 1858.
Ask Peter Tandy at the British Museum about these azurites.
[Rock Currier 9 November 2008]


Azurite
UK
England, Cornwall, Liskeard District, Caradon & Phoenix Area (South-Eastern Bodmin Moor), St Cleer, South Caradon Mine

Azurite ~6cm©


A respectable azurite specimen from this mine is shown here. It is an old specimen in the collection of the British Museum of Natural History and is from a mine I know nothing about. The Mineralogy of Great Britain and Ireland by Greg & Lettsom, 1858, does not list this locality.
[Rock Currier 9 November 2008]


Azurite
USA
Arizona, Gila County, Globe-Miami District, Miami, Globe Hills District, Globe, Blue Ball Mine.

Azurite ~ 7&12 mm diam.© 2006 Peter Cristofono
Azurite & Malachite, each ~2.7cm diameter© Rob Lavinsky


Azurite 3.4cm© Rob Lavinsky


Blueball Mine, Globe, Globe Hills, Globe Hills District, Globe-Miami District, Gila Co., Arizona
“Azurite is the most common mineral collected at the mine. It commonly occurs as solid nodules which have been used as a source of blue pigment. Many of the nodules, however, are hollow and are lined with drusy azurite crystals. These sharp prismatic crystals are up to 5 mm in size, but most are less than a millimeter in length.”1 The mine has been operated intermittently since about 1930 exclusively for pigment and specimens. The nodules range in size to a little over 5 cm. Thousands of kgs of azurite have been recovered from the mine over the years. Many of the well formed balls are cut in half and a small percent of them have brilliant drusy azurite crystals lining “shrinkage cracks” in their interiors. These make for interesting specimens and many of them have been turned into striking jewelry. See the article referenced above for some pictures of these beautiful little items.
1. Raymond Grant, Mineralogical Record, Vol. 20, 1998, p447.
[Rock Currier 9 November 2008]


Azurite
USA
Arizona, Pima Co., Ajo District, Little Ajo Mts, Ajo, New Cornelia Mine (Ajo Mine)

Azurite 3.5cm tall©
Azurite & Malachite, 7 cm high© MikeHaritos2005


Azurite ~4.5cm©
Azurite 7.5cm© 1Joseph Polityka

“In the early 1950’s, the open pit at Ajo supplied a number of fine groups of azurite crystals with a distinctive rhombohedral, pseudo-cubic habit.”1 Many of these were partially or completely replaced with a dark fibrous malachite.
1. Mineralogical Record, Vol. 4, 1973, p5.
[Rock Currier 9 November 2008]


Azurite
USA
Arizona, Greenlee Co., Shannon Mts, Copper Mountain District (Clifton-Morenci District), Morenci, Morenci Mine (Morenci pit; Phelps Dodge Morenci Mine; Morenci-Metcalf)

Azurite & Malachite, 5 cm high© Tony Peterson
Azurite & Malachite, 3.7 cm high© Tony Peterson


Azurite & Malachite 6.5cm© Rob Lavinsky
Azurite & Malachite 2.5cm© Rob Lavinsky


Azurite 3.6cm© Rob Lavinsky
Azurite & Chrysocolla FOV 6.5cm© Christian Bracke


Azurite on Malachite 3cm tall© 2003 John H. Betts
Azurite 5.4cm© www.exceptionalminerals.com


Azurite on Malachite 4cm wide© Brent Thorne
Azurite 6cm© Rob Lavinsky


Azurite rose 4.5cm© fabreminerals.com


“Early work about 1900 in the great orebody at Morenci, and some small mines in the Courtland-Gleeson District…also provided a quantity of azurite comparable to the average from Bisbee; in fact most are probably labeled as from Bisbee, and cannot be distinguished with certainty.1
1. Richard Bideaux, Mineralogical Record, Vol. 4, 1973, p5.

More recently, in 1986, some wonderful specimens of stalactitic azurite were produced at Morenci. Stan Esbenshade of Tucson dug the specimens and although the find was not a large one, the quality of the few fine specimens found was of such a nature to make them highly photogenic and desirable to collectors. That alone makes a brief description of the occurrence worthwhile. Part of the locality given for some of the specimens was as the Old Town Workings which was a made up name based only on the fact that the pocket that produced the specimens was more or less under the old town sight of Morenci which was long ago gobbled up by the giant big open pit copper mine of Phelps Dodge Company. A more accurate locality description would be Arizona, Greenlee County, Clifton-Morenci District, Morenci, Morenci Mine, Copper Mountain Area of the Morenci Mine, 4650 bench, 15 feet from the Copper Mountain Fault. The 4650 bench means that the elevation of the top of the bench in which the pocket was found had an elevation above sea level of 4660 feet. Stan Esbenshade was working with a small mineral company that had an arrangement with Phelps Dodge company to work portions of the big open pit copper mine for specimens. Just before the 1986 Tucson gem and mineral show, Stan Esbenshade started chasing a seam of azurite about six feet below the top of the 4650 bench. It was producing fine cutting grade azurite that sold well at the Tucson show. After the show he returned to Morenci and continued chasing the vein. He tied himself off with a safety rope anchored to the top of the bench to make sure he did not fall down the 50 foot face of the bench. Soon he broke into a pocket of azurite which turned out to be the first of three which diminished in size. Though it had convoluted topology, it was about 4 feet long, 2 feet wide and a foot high. It was large enough that he could get his head and shoulders into it while collecting. The pocket was located above a layer of quartzite and below an iron stone cap. The pocket was apparently formed by the decomposition and shrinkage of some massive sulfides. Some of the azurite stalactites in this pocket had been damaged, apparently from the heavy blasting that had formed the benches of the mine and many of the azurite stalactites were lying loose in the bottom of the pocket. All of the azurite stalactites found had cores of malachite. The stalactites in the first pocket were long, up to about 8 inches, smooth and thinner in diameter than a pencil.1
Soon a second pocket was encountered. It was somewhat smaller but the azurite in that pocket was better crystallized, the azurite sparkled, and the azurite stalactites were somewhat thicker if not longer than those in the first pocket; also some malachite was visible which gave the specimens a wonderful contrast. These specimens were much more valuable than those in the first pocket. Some of these stalactites had a thickening of the azurite below the tips of the stalactites which gave them an additional appeal. Jimmy Vacek of Phoenix still has a few of these wonderful specimens. They are mended but the repair does not detract much from their desirability or value. Out of about 15 flats of material collected from the second pocket there were about 10 to 15 serious specimens. The first and second pockets that were collected over a period of about eight days, produced about 30 to 40 flats of material that sold for about $60,000, which at that time was a lot of money. Much of the second quality material was sold to the Beckers of Idar-Oberstein, Germany. A backhoe was brought in and about a month later a third pocket the size of a couple of big watermelons was found. This pocket was a bit more intact and produced eight to ten flats of material which included 10 to 15 serious specimens.1
Some of the specimens from this find have as many as a dozen azurite stalactites on them. Some of the specimens had missing tips which were later covered over with tiny sparkling azurite crystals.1
1. Stanley Esbenshade, personal communication 2002.
[Rock Currier 9 November 2008]


Azurite
USA
Arizona, Pinal Co., Dripping Spring Mts, Mineral Creek District (Ray District), Scott Mountain area, Ray Mine

Azurite rose, 3.1 cm across© Rob Lavinsky



Azurite
USA
Arizona, Gila Co., Tonto Basin District, Tonto Basin, Greenback Creek area, Packard Mine (Packard claims; Bluebird Fluorspar Mine; Bluebird Mine; Walnut Mine)

Azurite rose 2.7cm© Rob Lavinsky
Azurite rose, 3.1 cm across© Rob Lavinsky


Azurite
USA
Arizona, Pinal Co., Mammoth District, Tiger, St. Anthony deposit, Mammoth-Saint Anthony Mine (Mammoth-St Anthony Mine; Mammoth Mine; St. Anthony Mine)

Azurite ~12cm©


“Late in the life of the Mammoth mine at Tiger, around 1940-1950, a few small but choice azurites were found. The finest were blue-black prisms of about two inches, in striking contrast to the always associated twinned or reticulated snow-white cerussite.”1 Tiger also produced a number of specimens with rounded almost melted looking brilliant azurites up to perhaps 15 mm on malachite. A fine one is in the mineral collection of the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson. The picture here of the azurite from Tiger is included with apologies, much better ones were found. “Azurite forms some of the larger crystals of any of the Mammoth mine species, up to 4 cm, with malachite pseudomorphs after azurite to over 8 cm…Prisms of a deep blue-black color associated with cerussite twins are characteristic, as are stouter crystals altered in part or in whole to fibrous malachite. Both types usually also enclose the doubly terminated quartz crystals so common on Mammoth mine specimens. Very rarely azurite crystals are associated on the same specimen with linarite or diaboleite, then also usually with anglesite.2
1. Richard Bideaux, Mineralogical Record, Vol. 4, 1977, p5 - 2 Richard, Bideaux, Mineralogical Record, Vol. 11, 1980, p165.
[Rock Currier 9 November 2008]


Azurite
USA
Arizona, Gila Co., Globe-Miami District, Miami-Inspiration District, Inspiration, Castle Dome area (Castle Dome Mine area; Pinto Valley Mine area), Castle Dome Mine (Castle Dome deposit; Pinto Valley deposit).

Azurite on cerussite with minor malachite, 5.3 cm across© Rob Lavinsky



Azurite
USA
Arizona, Yavapai Co., Black Hills (Black Hill Range), Verde District, Jerome

Azurite balls 25 & 18mm©



Azurite
USA
New Jersey, Sussex Co., Franklin Mining District, Franklin

Azurite & Malachite ~11cm©


Here is a picture of one of the better azurite specimens from Franklin. From any other locality it is strictly poundage material or leaverite. Leaverite, for those of you new to mineral collecting, is the name of any particular common rock you pick up off the ground. When you ask a knowledgeable person what it is. Their answer will be “leaverite”. That means you should not pick up such things, but should instead leave it right there.
[Rock Currier 9 November 2008]


Azurite
USA
New Mexico, Grant Co., Hanover-Fierro District, Hanover

Azurite 2.3cm© Danny Jones
Azurite ~5 cm across© Joseph Polityka


Azurite 2.5cm© Rob Lavinsky


“In October, 1981, the most important azurite discovery in recent New Mexico history took place at the Hanover #2 mine in the Fierro-Hanover mining district of Grant County. Individual, highly lustrous, rhombohedral crystals up to 2.5 cm were common along with balls of intergrown crystals, and clusters up to 8 cm across. The crystals occur in a kaolinized fault gouge and were easily retrieved with a pocket knife. Thousands of specimens were obtained and have been widely distributed…”1
1. Raymond DeMark, Mineralogical Record, Vol. 22, 1991, p69.
[Rock Currier 9 November 2008]


Azurite
USA
New Mexico, Socorro Co., Magdalena District

Azurite, 1.7 cm across© Rob Lavinsky
Azurite 6.9cm© Rob Lavinsky

“From the 1880’s until after the turn of the century, the Magdalena district in Socorro County produced the largest volume and most aesthetic azurite specimens (in New Mexico). Many beautiful specimens associated with malachite, smithsonite, allophane, aurichalcite and fraiponite, primarily from the Kelly, Graphic and Juanita mines, surfaced during the mining of lead and zinc ores. Most of the specimens from this area were dispersed to major Eastern and European collections - few still exist in New Mexico collections.”1 Some decent specimens of azurite with less than cm size crystals from the Kelly mine are in the collection of the New Mexico Bureau of Mines. Undoubtedly some of the good azurites would have been exported to Europe, but I suspect that the above enthusiastic description might be tempered a bit had the author seen how few of them had wound up in the big institutional collection on the east coast where there should be more of them present than in Europe. These specimens are not there.
1. Mineralogical Record, Vol. 22, 1991, p68.
[Rock Currier 9 November 2008]


Azurite
USA
New Mexico, Sandoval Co., San Pablo, Nacimiento Mine, Lost Lake claim

Azurite 5.5cm© Michael C. Roarke
Azurite 6.5 cm across© Tony Peterson


Azurite
USA
New Mexico, Grant Co. Burro Mountains District,Tyrone Area, Emma Mine.

Azurite on rhyolite, 4 cm across© Rob Lavinsky



Azurite
USA
Utah, San Juan Co., La Sal District, La Sal

Azurite & Malachite 16.3cm across© Rob Lavinsky
Azurite & Malachite 3.6cm© Rob Lavinsky


Azurite 8.8cm© Edwards Minerals
Azurite, 2.9cm across© Rob Lavinsky


Azurite 5.2cm© Rob Lavinsky


This prospect has also been called the Nevada Load. At the California Federation show in 1981 “Collectors got to see some specimens from a large (several hundred pieces) new strike in Utah. The locality, named the Blue Grotto prospect, was discovered as an unmined outcrop by a group of collectors…several flats of the specimens…fine azurite roses, crystal crusts and balls.”1 There were thousands of specimens mined at this prospect from open cast workings, which were never very extensive, over a period of several years. Specimens were generally less than 15 cm in diameter with some azurite balls on a malachite matrix. Most of the specimens produced were small floater clusters like balls or misshapen balls of bright small, bladed, intergrown azurite crystals. We sold hundreds of them wholesale. These were pleasant specimens but even the best of them will not tarnish the reputation of Tsumeb or Bisbee. They were “…mined by Bob Lane, Graham Sutton, Wayne Richards and Fred Lane…Generally the luster has not been very good in the past, but some specimens from the recent find are brilliant and sharp. About 400 flats of specimens were recovered, half of good grade or better. Les Presmyk (De Natura) marketed many of the better cabinet pieces from his booth at the convention center (Tucson gem and mineral show)”2
1. Mineralogical Record, Vol. , , p387
2. Mineralogical Record, Vol. 21, 1990, p256.
[Rock Currier 9 November 2008]


Azurite
USA
Utah, Tooele Co., Oquirrh Mts, Ophir District, Ophir Hill area, Hidden Treasure Mine (Sacramento; Chicago)

Azurite, Rosasite & Chrysocolla ~3cm© Michael C. Roarke



Azurite
USA
Utah, Washington County, Beaver Dam Mts, Tutsagubet District, Jarvis Peak, St. George, Apex Mine (Dixie Mine; Utah-Eastern Mine; Dixie-Apex; Pen)

Azurite & Malachite 5.1cm© Rob Lavinsky
Azurite on Malachite 5.2cm© Rob Lavinsky


Azurite, 3.7 cm long dimension© Rob Lavinsky
Azurite & Malachite after Gypsum 4.5 cm© WWB


Azurite and Malachite 5cm© Rockpick Legend Co.


The Apex mine is also known for its Azurite and Malachite casts after gypsum crystals with hollow centers. At one time prismatic, intergrown clusters of these casts were popular and expensive. Individual casts were up to almost a foot long. Today they are more curious than valuable. Some specimens from this find consisted of intergrown clusters, these casts growing every which way. At one time they were commonly available at western gem and mineral shows, but today you rarely see them. Even if thousands of specimens are found, a hundred years after the mine is closed, collectors think they are fairly rare items.
[Rock Currier 9 November 2008]


Azurite
Zambia
Copper Belt, Chingola Mine

“…readers may be interested to learn that this mineral is probably more abundant at the Chingola mine (formerly Nchanga)…than any other mine in the world…This mine’s enormous open pits and underground operations produce approximately 250,000 tons of copper per year…Chingola high grade oxide concentrate contains about 1% azurite…the yearly weight of mined azurite exceeds 5000 tons…The great bulk of the azurite is present as layered granular material intergrown with malachite, Fe oxide, and gangue silicates within the ore…Azurite balls are relatively abundant. They average 1-2 inches in diameter and have been found as large as 8 inches across…Very rarely, larger balls contain a core of well developed crystals pseudomorphed partially to malachite. These are the most prized specimens of any mineral to be found at Chingola. The vast majority of discs and balls contain so much clay, mica, quartz and Fe oxide as to make them unattractive to the discriminating person and sadly find their best purpose as food for the concentrator. Azurite crystals 2 inches in length and probably longer have been obtained from quartz veins in the underground mine. These crystals while well developed, are usually intergrown with smaller crystals and quartz. In several years of close contact with the Chingola mine I have not seen or heard of a really outstanding azurite crystal specimen.”1 Many other large open pit copper mines also occasionally find a little or a lot of azurite, but do not produce good azurite specimens. Chuquicamata and Escondido in Chile, Sar Cheshmeh in Iran are three that I have visited and produce no azurite specimens to speak of.
1. Mineralogical Record, S.P. Korowski, Vol. 4, 1973, p246-7.
[Rock Currier 9 November 2008]


Azurite
Zambia
Central Province, Kabwe (Broken Hill), Kabwe Mine (Broken Hill Mine)

Azurite & Malachite specimens, largest is 4.6cm across© Rob Lavinsky


Click here to view Azurites from Tsumeb, Namibia. and here for Azurites from Bisbee, Arizona, USA. and here for Best Minerals A,and here for Best Minerals A to Z. and here for Fast Navigation of completed Best Minerals articles.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.



Edited 166 time(s). Last edit at 06/09/2012 06:30AM by Rock Currier.
Re: Azurite
August 08, 2009 04:00AM
us    
This is really, REALLY a fine article. A great piece of work. Amazing pictures, information - combined with Bisbee and Tsumeb, this is just unbelievable. I really congratulate and appreciate the author and the collaborators. Must have taken a while!

Anyway, I only noticed one thing: Jerome, AZ is in Yavapai co. not Santa Cruz co, as written.

I sincerely appreciate this article!!! Rock, thank you for all the hard work!

Ben Kirchner
avatar Re: Azurite
August 08, 2009 03:58PM
Ben, Thanks for the correction. It has been corrected. When I see things like that I wonder how it could have happened. Perhaps it was very late at night and I was running on autopilot.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Re: Azurite
August 09, 2009 07:19AM
us    
You're welcome Rock, and thank you! I wouldn't stress it too, I mean this has to be the greatest article on Azurite online, or even in print, ever assembled!

This article is something that almost anyone can use: if you want to convince someone that minerals are interesting and pretty, send them here. An advanced collector/dealer, needing to double-check a label or reference, look here. I think these articles are exactly spot-on their purpose!

Another suggestion, I don't know if you considered this: put in Michael Cline's twinned Azurite:

[www.mindat.org]

It's a great rock! I've seen it, and it doesn't really look like much, until you consider how many other times you've seen a twinned Azurite before. He claims it's not repaired, which I believe, and that he got it for something like 12 bucks, while I claim he's an alien from planet Luck.

Then again, this is the Best Of, not Mineral Oddities, so maybe not. Either way, seriously great work! Much appreciated by all of us!

Ben Kirchner
avatar Re: Azurite
August 10, 2009 07:56AM
Ben, there must be something wrong with the link, I cant resolve the image on my computer.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Re: Azurite
August 11, 2009 09:35PM
us    
Yeah I have that problem too.. Hmm. I wonder why that is, it shows up in the smaller version on the locality page:

[www.mindat.org]

The 6th pic down, 3rd page, give or take. Pretty cool huh?

Ben Kirchner
avatar Re: Azurite
August 12, 2009 04:28AM
Interesting. I wonder if it is a real twin or just another crystals growing together in a way to make us think it is twinned.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Re: Azurite
August 14, 2009 01:49AM
us    
Well, I've seen it - it's definitely like that in all 3 dimensions, so it's not a trick picture. As far as I can tell, it's a completely legitimate twin. It's definitely something entirely unusual that I've never seen in azurite before. I'm far from an expert on twinning but it looks legit to me. I think he's out of town for a while but should be back soon - I'm sure he can say more about it than I can. Have you ever seen this in azurite before? It's interesting huh?

Ben Kirchner
avatar Re: Azurite
August 14, 2009 01:54AM
Yes it is interesting. Perhaps if I saw the piece in person I might be more enthusiastic about it.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Azurite
August 23, 2009 06:53PM
nl    
Rock, great article, I love it!!!

Cheers

Harjo
avatar Re: Azurite
March 29, 2010 09:29PM
us    
OK, found the azurite thread. Here is the link to a best of species, neat piece of azurite on quartz from Sierra Rica, Chihuahua, Mexico. Details come with the link to my photo gallery. Sierra Rica azurite
avatar Re: Azurite
March 29, 2010 09:36PM
us    
Here is another azurite for consideration. Because of the green matrix and three complex balls it is one of the best from La Sal area (this from Nevada lode). Details on the link. Azurite-malachite La Sal Utah
avatar Re: Azurite
June 22, 2010 09:21PM
nl    
Rock, I'm going to take the liberty of adding two German sites to the article, is that OK with you?
avatar Re: Azurite
June 22, 2010 10:11PM
By all means Harjo, go ahead. Ill be back to work on Best minerals in a week or two.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Re: Azurite
June 22, 2010 11:26PM
us    
Rock, this is another of your great articles.
One small correction may be needed. Just under the first photo you refer to "ultraviolet blue" but I suspect you might have meant "ultramarine blue".

Keep it up.

Easy Goin'
USA
avatar Re: Azurite
June 23, 2010 12:14AM
Ed, Thanks for pointing that out to me. I probably did not express as well as I should have what I was thing about when I wrote that. I have replaced it with:

Some of the smaller prismatic crystals are transparent and an of such a dark blue color that one can almost could imagine that they are viewing the top end of the ultra violet band of wavelengths.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
wangdu
Re: Azurite
September 08, 2011 02:47PM
HI, i'll like to know about azurite and malachite, were we and find it? in detail
avatar Re: Azurite
September 08, 2011 04:21PM
Wangdu,
What kind of azurite and malachite are you looking for? What do you want to do with it? Is it for industrial use? for lapidary use or for specimens for collectors. This is a question you should post in one of the other forums on Mindat and not here in the Best Minerals section.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
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Mineral and Locality Search
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