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Copiapite

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Formula:
Fe
2+
 
Fe
3+
4
(SO
 
4
)
 
6
(OH)
 
2
· 20H
 
2
O
System:TriclinicColour:Crystals: sulfur-yellow ...
Hardness:2½ - 3
Member of:Copiapite Group
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

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:6/D.10-50
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID: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 edition ID:31.10.5.1
Dana 8th edition ID:31.10.5.1

31 : HYDRATED SULFATES CONTAINING HYDROXYL OR HALOGEN
10 : Miscellaneous
Hey's CIM Ref.:25.10.22

25 : Sulphates
10 : Sulphates of Fe alone
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Type Occurrence of Copiapite

Type Locality:Copiapó Province, Atacama Region, Chile
Year of Discovery:1833

Occurrences of Copiapite

Geological Setting:Areas of pyrite oxidation.

Physical Properties of Copiapite

Lustre: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 (measured):2.08 - 2.17 g/cm3
Density (calculated):2.118 g/cm3
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
Unit Cell Volume:V 978.91 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
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:
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°
Maximum Birefringence:δ = 0.069

Chart 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:
Fe
2+
 
Fe
3+
4
(SO
 
4
)
 
6
(OH)
 
2
· 20H
 
2
O
Simplified for copy/paste:Fe2+Fe3+4(SO4)6(OH)2·20H2O
Essential elements:Fe, H, O, S
All elements listed in formula:Fe, H, O, S
Common Impurities:Cu,Ca,Al

Relationship of Copiapite to other Species

Member of:Copiapite Group
Other Members of Group:

- +
Aluminocopiapite
Al
 
2/3
Fe
3+
4
(SO
 
4
)
 
6
(OH)
 
2
· 20H
 
2
O
Calciocopiapite
CaFe
 
4
(SO
 
4
)
 
6
(OH)
 
2
· 10H
 
2
O
Cuprocopiapite
CuFe
 
4
(SO
 
4
)
 
6
(OH)
 
2
· 20H
 
2
O
Ferricopiapite
Fe
 
5
(SO
 
4
)
 
6
O(OH) · 20H
 
2
O
Magnesiocopiapite
MgFe
3+
4
(SO
 
4
)
 
6
(OH)
 
2
· 20H
 
2
O
Zincocopiapite
ZnFe
3+
4
(SO
 
4
)
 
6
(OH)
 
2
· 18H
 
2
O
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
7.DB.05Aubertite
CuAl(SO
 
4
)
 
2
Cl · 14H
 
2
O
7.DB.05Magnesioaubertite
(Mg,Cu)Al(SO
 
4
)
 
2
Cl · 14H
 
2
O
7.DB.05Svyazhinite
(Mg,Mn
2+
 
,Ca)(Al,Fe
3+
 
)(SO
 
4
)
 
2
F · 14H
 
2
O
7.DB.10Khademite
Al(SO
 
4
)F · 5H
 
2
O
7.DB.10Rostite
Al(SO
 
4
)(OH) · 5H
 
2
O
7.DB.15Jurbanite
Al(SO
 
4
)(OH) · 5H
 
2
O
7.DB.20Minasragrite
(V
4+
 
O)(SO
 
4
) · 5H
 
2
O
7.DB.20Orthominasragrite
(V
4+
 
O)(SO
 
4
) · 5H
 
2
O
7.DB.20Anorthominasragrite
(V
4+
 
O)(SO
 
4
) · 5H
 
2
O
7.DB.25Bobjonesite
(V
4+
 
O)(SO
 
4
) · 3H
 
2
O
7.DB.30Amarantite
Fe
3+
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
2
O · 7H
 
2
O
7.DB.30Hohmannite
Fe
3+
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
2
O · 8H
 
2
O
7.DB.30Metahohmannite
Fe
3+
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
2
O · 4H
 
2
O
7.DB.35Aluminocopiapite
Al
 
2/3
Fe
3+
4
(SO
 
4
)
 
6
(OH)
 
2
· 20H
 
2
O
7.DB.35Calciocopiapite
CaFe
 
4
(SO
 
4
)
 
6
(OH)
 
2
· 10H
 
2
O
7.DB.35Cuprocopiapite
CuFe
 
4
(SO
 
4
)
 
6
(OH)
 
2
· 20H
 
2
O
7.DB.35Ferricopiapite
Fe
 
5
(SO
 
4
)
 
6
O(OH) · 20H
 
2
O
7.DB.35Magnesiocopiapite
MgFe
3+
4
(SO
 
4
)
 
6
(OH)
 
2
· 20H
 
2
O
7.DB.35Zincocopiapite
ZnFe
3+
4
(SO
 
4
)
 
6
(OH)
 
2
· 18H
 
2
O
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
25.10.1Szomolnokite
FeSO
 
4
· H
 
2
O
25.10.2Rozenite
FeSO
 
4
· 4H
 
2
O
25.10.3Siderotil
FeSO
 
4
· 5H
 
2
O
25.10.4Ferrohexahydrite
FeSO
 
4
· 6H
 
2
O
25.10.5Melanterite
FeSO
 
4
· 7H
 
2
O
25.10.6Rhomboclase
(H
 
5
O
 
2
)Fe
3+
 
(SO
 
4
)
 
2
· 2H
 
2
O
25.10.7Lausenite
Fe
 
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
3
·6H
 
2
O
25.10.8Kornelite
Fe
 
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
3
· 7H
 
2
O
25.10.9Coquimbite
Fe
 
2-x
Al
 
x
(SO
 
4
)
 
3
· 9H
 
2
O, x ~0.5
25.10.10Paracoquimbite
Fe
 
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
3
· 9H
 
2
O
25.10.11Quenstedtite
Fe
 
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
3
· 10H
 
2
O
25.10.12Ferricopiapite
Fe
 
5
(SO
 
4
)
 
6
O(OH) · 20H
 
2
O
25.10.13Metahohmannite
Fe
3+
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
2
O · 4H
 
2
O
25.10.14Hohmannite
Fe
3+
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
2
O · 8H
 
2
O
25.10.15Butlerite
Fe
3+
 
(SO
 
4
)(OH) · 2H
 
2
O
25.10.16Parabutlerite
Fe
3+
 
(SO
 
4
)(OH) · 2H
 
2
O
25.10.17Amarantite
Fe
3+
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
2
O · 7H
 
2
O
25.10.18Fibroferrite
Fe
3+
 
(SO
 
4
)(OH) · 5H
 
2
O
25.10.19Hydroniumjarosite
(H
 
3
O)Fe
3+
3
(SO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
6
25.10.20Römerite
Fe
2+
 
Fe
3+
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
4
· 14H
 
2
O
25.10.21Bílinite
Fe
2+
 
Fe
3+
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
4
· 22H
 
2
O
Related Minerals - Dana Grouping):

- +
31.10.5.7Aluminocopiapite
Al
 
2/3
Fe
3+
4
(SO
 
4
)
 
6
(OH)
 
2
· 20H
 
2
O

Other Names for Copiapite

Synonyms:
ElaeiteEläiteFlaveiteJanositeMisleyite
NiveitePseudo-copiapiteVioliteYellow Copperas
Other Languages:
German:Atramenstein
Basisches schwefelsaures Eisenoxyd
Copiapit
Elaeit
Eläit
Ferrocopiapit
Flaveit
Gelb Atrament
Gelbeisenerz (of Breithaupt)
Ihlëite
Janosit
Misleyit
Niveit
Xanthosiderit (of Glocker)
Greek:Μισυ
Latin:Lapis atramentarius flavus
Russian:Копиапит
Simplified Chinese:叶绿矾
Spanish:Copiapita
Elaeita
Eläita
Flaveita
Janosita
Misleyita
Niveita
Swedish:Gul Atrament Sten
Varieties:
Knoxvillite

Other Information

Other Information:Readily soluble in water, forming a yellowish solution.
Health Warning: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

Search Engines:
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  • External Links:
  • Look for Copiapite on Webmineral
  • Look for Copiapite on Athena Mineralogy
  • Look for Copiapite on Wikipedia
  • Look for Copiapite on Mineralien Atlas
  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project
  • American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
  • Copiapite details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
  • Mineral Dealers:
  • DAKOTA MATRIX offers Cabinet and Rare Species from Worldwide Localities.
  • Buy fine minerals and gemstones from Pala International
  • Lapis Mineral Magazin
  • Find Copiapite on www.crystalclassics.co.uk
  • Buy RARE Minerals from Rocks of Africa
  • Buy from Dave Bunk Minerals
  • The Arkenstone - Fine Minerals
  • Copiapite specimens for sale - minfind.com
  • Rare and Unusual minerals at Mineralogical Research Company
  • SpiriferMinerals.com - high quality low prices
  • rare and unusual minerals mainly crystallized
  • Mineral Classics - Worldwide Collector Quality Minerals and Gems
  • Specimens:The following Copiapite specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

    Localities for Copiapite

    The 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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