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Copiapite

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Formula:
Fe2+Fe43+(SO4)6(OH)2 · 20H2O
System:
Triclinic
Colour:
Crystals: sulfur-yellow ...
Hardness:
2½ - 3
Member of:
Name:
Named in 1833 for the type locality, near Copiapó city, Chile.
Copiapite Group.

Typically found as greenish-yellow to olive-green scaly to fine-granular crusts.

Some 'copiapite' may in fact be ferricopiapite or other members of the copiapite group.

Classification of Copiapite

Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
7.DB.35

7 : SULFATES (selenates, tellurates, chromates, molybdates, wolframates)
D : Sulfates (selenates, etc.) with additional anions, with H2O
B : With only medium-sized cations; insular octahedra and finite units
Dana 7th ed.:
31.10.5.1
31.10.5.1

31 : HYDRATED SULFATES CONTAINING HYDROXYL OR HALOGEN
10 : Miscellaneous
25.10.22

25 : Sulphates
10 : Sulphates of Fe alone
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http://www.mindat.org/min-1124.html
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First Recorded Occurrence of Copiapite

Year of Discovery:
1833

Occurrences of Copiapite

Geological Setting:
Areas of pyrite oxidation.

Physical Properties of Copiapite

Pearly, Earthy
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent, Translucent, Opaque
Comment:
Pearly on {010}.
Colour:
Crystals: sulfur-yellow to orange, massive material: greenish-yellow to olive-green.
Streak:
Not reported
Hardness (Mohs):
2½ - 3
Hardness Data:
Measured
Tenacity:
Fragile
Cleavage:
Perfect
on {010}, perfect; on {_101}, imperfect.
Fracture:
Irregular/Uneven, Micaceous
Density:
2.08 - 2.17 g/cm3 (Measured)    2.118 g/cm3 (Calculated)
Comment:
2.147 (Tierra Amarilla material); 2.154 (Chuquicamata material).

Crystallography of Copiapite

Crystal System:
Triclinic
Class (H-M):
1 - Pinacoidal
Space Group:
P1
Cell Parameters:
a = 7.337Å, b = 18.76Å, c = 7.379Å
α = 91.47°, β = 102.18°, γ = 98.95°
Ratio:
a:b:c = 0.391 : 1 : 0.393
Z:
1
Morphology:
Crystals rare, tabular {010}, sometimes highly modified. Commonly found as scaly aggregates or fine-granular encrustations.
Twinning:
Contact twinning with twin axis [101] and composition plane {010}, uncommon.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction Data:
d-spacingIntensity
18.4(100)
9.23(100)
6.15(60)
5.57(70)
5.32(30)
4.20(40)
3.58(60)
3.49(60)

Optical Data of Copiapite

Type:
Biaxial (+)
RI values:
nα = 1.506 - 1.540 nβ = 1.528 - 1.549 nγ = 1.575 - 1.600
2V:
Measured: 45° to 74°, Calculated: 48° to 72°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.069
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Low
Dispersion:
none

Chemical Properties of Copiapite

Formula:
Fe2+Fe43+(SO4)6(OH)2 · 20H2O
Essential elements:
All elements listed in formula:
Common Impurities:
Cu,Ca,Al

Relationship of Copiapite to other Species

Member of:
Other Members of Group:
AluminocopiapiteAl2/3Fe43+(SO4)6(OH)2 · 20H2O
CalciocopiapiteCaFe4(SO4)6(OH)2 · 10H2O
CuprocopiapiteCuFe4(SO4)6(OH)2 · 20H2O
FerricopiapiteFe5(SO4)6O(OH) · 20H2O
MagnesiocopiapiteMgFe43+(SO4)6(OH)2 · 20H2O
ZincocopiapiteZnFe43+(SO4)6(OH)2 · 18H2O
7.DB.05AubertiteCuAl(SO4)2Cl · 14H2O
7.DB.05Magnesioaubertite(Mg,Cu)Al(SO4)2Cl · 14H2O
7.DB.05Svyazhinite(Mg,Mn2+,Ca)(Al,Fe3+)(SO4)2F · 14H2O
7.DB.10KhademiteAl(SO4)F · 5H2O
7.DB.10RostiteAl(SO4)(OH) · 5H2O
7.DB.15JurbaniteAl(SO4)(OH) · 5H2O
7.DB.20Minasragrite(V4+O)(SO4) · 5H2O
7.DB.20Orthominasragrite(V4+O)(SO4) · 5H2O
7.DB.20Anorthominasragrite(V4+O)(SO4) · 5H2O
7.DB.25Bobjonesite(V4+O)(SO4) · 3H2O
7.DB.30AmarantiteFe23+(SO4)2O · 7H2O
7.DB.30HohmanniteFe23+(SO4)2O · 8H2O
7.DB.30MetahohmanniteFe23+(SO4)2O · 4H2O
7.DB.35AluminocopiapiteAl2/3Fe43+(SO4)6(OH)2 · 20H2O
7.DB.35CalciocopiapiteCaFe4(SO4)6(OH)2 · 10H2O
7.DB.35CuprocopiapiteCuFe4(SO4)6(OH)2 · 20H2O
7.DB.35FerricopiapiteFe5(SO4)6O(OH) · 20H2O
7.DB.35MagnesiocopiapiteMgFe43+(SO4)6(OH)2 · 20H2O
7.DB.35ZincocopiapiteZnFe43+(SO4)6(OH)2 · 18H2O
25.10.1SzomolnokiteFeSO4 · H2O
25.10.2RozeniteFeSO4 · 4H2O
25.10.3SiderotilFeSO4 · 5H2O
25.10.4FerrohexahydriteFeSO4 · 6H2O
25.10.5MelanteriteFeSO4 · 7H2O
25.10.6Rhomboclase(H5O2)Fe3+(SO4)2 · 2H2O
25.10.7LauseniteFe2(SO4)3·5H2O
25.10.8KorneliteFe2(SO4)3 · 7H2O
25.10.9CoquimbiteFe2-xAlx(SO4)3 · 9H2O, x ~0.5
25.10.10ParacoquimbiteFe2(SO4)3 · 9H2O
25.10.11QuenstedtiteFe2(SO4)3 · 10H2O
25.10.12FerricopiapiteFe5(SO4)6O(OH) · 20H2O
25.10.13MetahohmanniteFe23+(SO4)2O · 4H2O
25.10.14HohmanniteFe23+(SO4)2O · 8H2O
25.10.15ButleriteFe3+(SO4)(OH) · 2H2O
25.10.16ParabutleriteFe3+(SO4)(OH) · 2H2O
25.10.17AmarantiteFe23+(SO4)2O · 7H2O
25.10.18FibroferriteFe3+(SO4)(OH) · 5H2O
25.10.19Hydroniumjarosite(H3O)Fe33+(SO4)2(OH)6
25.10.20RömeriteFe2+Fe23+(SO4)4 · 14H2O
25.10.21BíliniteFe2+Fe23+(SO4)4 · 22H2O
31.10.5.7AluminocopiapiteAl2/3Fe43+(SO4)6(OH)2 · 20H2O

Other Names for Copiapite

Other Information

Other Information:
Readily soluble in water, forming a yellowish solution.
Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

References for Copiapite

Reference List:
Dioscorides (as Μισυ).

Agricola, Georgius (1546) De natura fossilium and De veteribus et novis metallis (as Gelb Atrament).

Agricola, Georgius (1546) Interpretatio Germanica vocum rei metallicae (as Gelb Atrament).

Wallerius, J.G (1747) Mineralogia, eller Mineralriket. Stockholm: 159 (as Misy, Gul Atrament, and Lapis atramentarius flavus).

Hausmann, J.F.L. (1813) Handbuch der Mineralogie 3 volumes, Göttingen: 1061 (as Misy).

Breithaupt, A. (1823) Vollständige Characteristik etc., 1st. ed.: 97, 238 (as Gelbeisenerz).

Breithaupt, A. (1832) Vollständige Characteristik etc., 2nd. Ed.: 223 (as Gelbeisenerz).

Rose (1833) Annalen der Physik, Halle, Leipzig: 27: 314 (as Basisches schwefelsaures Eisenoxyd).

Haidinger, Wm. (1845a) Handbuch der bestimmenden Mineralogie. Vienna: 489.

Glocker, E.F. (1847) Generum et specierum mineralien secundum ordines naturals digestorum synopsis. Halle: 65 (as Xanthosiderit).

Hausmann, J.F.L. (1847) Handbuch der Mineralogie 3 volumes, Göttingen. Second edition: vol. 2, in two parts: 1203 (as Misy).

Schrauf, Albrecht (1877): 252 (as Ihlëite).

Linck (1889) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 15: 1.

Darapsky (1890) Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie, Heidelberg, Stuttgart: I: 49.

Dana, E.S. (1892) System of Mineralogy, 6th. Edition, New York: 964.

Mauzelius in: Sjögren (1895) Geologiska Föeningens I Stockholm. Förhandlinger, Stockholm: 17: 268.

Böckh and Emszt (1905) Földtani Közlöny, Budapest (Magyarhone Földtani Torsulat): 35: 139 (as Janosite).

Toborffy (1907) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 43: 369.

Manasse (1911) Processi verbali della Società Toscana di scienze naturali in Pisa: 20: 1.

Scharizer (1913) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 52: 372.

Larsen, E.S. (1921) The Microscopic Determination of the Nonopaque Minerals, First edition, USGS Bulletin 679: 61.

Posnjak and Merwin (1922) Journal of the American Chemical Society: 44: 1965.

Scharizer (1927) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 65: 335.

Ungemach (1935) Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 58: 97, 152 (as Pseudo-copiapite).

Berry (1938) University of Toronto Stud., Geol. Series, no. 41: 7

Palache, C., Peacock and Berry (1946) University of Toronto Stud., Geol. Series, no. 50: 9.

Berry (1947) University of Toronto Stud., Geol. Series, no. 51: 21.

Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged, 1124 pp.: 623-627.

Fanfani, L.A., A. Nunzi, P.F. Zanazzi & A.R. Zanzari (1973), The Copiapite problem; the crystal structure of ferrian Copiapite: Am. Min.: 58: 314-322.

Gaines et al.: Dana's New Mineralogy, 8th ed., p. 663 (1997)

Internet Links for Copiapite

Specimens:
The following Copiapite specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

Localities for Copiapite

map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.
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