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Covellite

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Formula:
CuS
System:HexagonalColour:Indigo-blue or darker, ...
Lustre:Sub-MetallicHardness:1½ - 2
Name:Named in 1832 by Francois Sulpice Beudant in honor of Niccolo Covelli (January 20, 1790 Cajazzo, Italy - November 15, 1829), an Italian mineralogist and discoverer of the mineral at Mount Vesuvius.


Usually as indigo-blue massive metallic material, sometimes with crystals on exposed surfaces (those often spheroidal). Good crystals extremely rare.

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Classification of Covellite

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:2/C.22-10
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:2.CA.05a

2 : SULFIDES and SULFOSALTS (sulfides, selenides, tellurides; arsenides, antimonides, bismuthides; sulfarsenites, sulfantimonites, sulfbismuthites, etc.)
C : Metal Sulfides, M: S = 1: 1 (and similar)
A : With Cu
Dana 7th edition ID:2.8.12.1
Dana 8th edition ID:2.8.12.1

2 : SULFIDES
8 : AmXp, with m:p = 1:1
Hey's CIM Ref.:3.1.8

3 : Sulphides, Selenides, Tellurides, Arsenides and Bismuthides (except the arsenides, antimonides and bismuthides of Cu, Ag and Au, which are included in Section 1)
1 : Sulphides etc. of Cu
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Type Occurrence of Covellite

Type Locality:Mt Vesuvius, Somma-Vesuvius Complex, Naples Province, Campania, Italy
Year of Discovery:1832
Geological Setting of type material:Igneous extrusive, as a volcanic sublimate on Mount Vesuvius.

Occurrences of Covellite

Geological Setting:Usually found as a secondary copper mineral in copper deposits, more rarely as a primary mineral of such deposits, and only very rarely as a volcanic sublimate (such as at Mount Vesuvius.)

Physical Properties of Covellite

Lustre:Sub-Metallic
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Opaque
Colour:Indigo-blue or darker, inclining towards blue-black, often iridescent with purplish, deep red, and brassy-yellow reflections.
Streak:Shiny metallic, lead-grey to black
Hardness (Mohs):1½ - 2
Hardness (Vickers):VHN100=128 - 138 kg/mm2
Hardness Data:Measured
Tenacity:Flexible
Cleavage:Perfect
Perfect on {0001}.
Fracture:Irregular/Uneven, Hackly
Density (measured):4.6 - 4.76 g/cm3
Density (calculated):4.602 g/cm3

Crystallography of Covellite

Crystal System:Hexagonal
Class (H-M):6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) - Dihexagonal Dipyramidal
Space Group:P63/mmc
Cell Parameters:a = 3.7938Å, c = 16.341Å
Ratio:a:c = 1 : 4.307
Unit Cell Volume:V 203.7 ų
Z:6
Morphology:Hexagonal plates {001}, with pyramidal faces striated horizontally and hexagonal striations on the base. Common forms: {001}, {104}, {103}, {308}, {102}, {9/0/16}, {5.08}, {101} and {201}. Less common to rare: {1.0.16}, {1.0.12}, {3.0.32}, {108}, {106}, {3.0.16}, {105}, {205}, {203}, {304}, {15.0.16} and {908}.
Twinning:None reported.
Crystal Atlas:
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Covellite - Tabular {001}

About Crystal Atlas

The mindat.org Crystal Atlas allows you to view a selection of crystal drawings of real and idealised crystal forms for this mineral and, in certain cases, 3d rotating crystal objects. The 3d models and HTML5 code are kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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Transparency
Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

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Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
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Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Horizontal Axis: ° to ° Vertical Axis: % Source Data: Filtered Data:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
d-spacingIntensity
3.22(30)
3.05(70)
2.81(100)
2.72(60)
2.32(10)
1.90(80)
1.74(40)
1.57(20)
1.56(40)

Optical Data of Covellite

Type:Uniaxial (+)
RI values: nω = 1.450 nε = 2.620
Maximum Birefringence:δ = 1.170

Chart shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:Very High
Type:Anisotropic
Anisotropism:Strong
Dispersion:Strong
Pleochroism:Visible
Comments:Deep blue to blue-white

Chemical Properties of Covellite

Formula:
CuS
Essential elements:Cu, S
All elements listed in formula:Cu, S
Analytical Data:Wet chemical analysis of material from Bor, Siberia, given first. Ideal given second.
Cu 65.49
Fe 0.25
S 33.53
Total 99.19
.
Cu 66.47
S 33.53
Total 100.00
Empirical Formula:
Cu
 
0.99
S
 
1.00
Common Impurities:Fe,Se,Ag,Pb

Relationship of Covellite to other Species

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
2.CA.05bKlockmannite
CuSe
2.CA.05cSpionkopite
Cu
 
39
S
 
28
2.CA.05dYarrowite
Cu
 
9
S
 
8
2.CA.10Nukundamite
Cu
 
3.4
Fe
 
0.6
S
 
4
2.CA.15Calvertite
Cu
 
5
Ge
 
0.5
S
 
4
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
3.1.1Chalcocite
Cu
 
2
S
3.1.2Djurleite
Cu
 
31
S
 
16
3.1.3Digenite
Cu
 
9
S
 
5
3.1.4Anilite
Cu
 
7
S
 
4
3.1.5Roxbyite
Cu
 
9
S
 
5
3.1.6Spionkopite
Cu
 
39
S
 
28
3.1.7Geerite
Cu
 
8
S
 
5
3.1.9Berzelianite
Cu
 
2
Se
3.1.10Bellidoite
Cu
 
2
Se
3.1.11Umangite
Cu
 
3
Se
 
2
3.1.12Yarrowite
Cu
 
9
S
 
8
3.1.13Athabascaite
Cu
 
5
Se
 
4
3.1.14Klockmannite
CuSe
3.1.15Krut'aite
CuSe
 
2
3.1.16Weissite
Cu
 
2-x
Te
3.1.17Rickardite
Cu
 
7
Te
 
5
3.1.18Vulcanite
CuTe
3.1.19Bambollaite
Cu(Se,Te)
 
2
3.1.20Lautite
CuAsS
3.1.21Mgriite
Cu
 
3
AsSe
 
3
3.1.22Cubanite
CuFe
 
2
S
 
3
3.1.23Bornite
Cu
 
5
FeS
 
4
3.1.24Fukuchilite
Cu
 
3
FeS
 
8
3.1.25Chalcopyrite
CuFeS
 
2
3.1.26Mooihoekite
Cu
 
9
Fe
 
9
S
 
16
3.1.27Haycockite
Cu
 
4
Fe
 
5
S
 
8
3.1.28Isocubanite
CuFe
 
2
S
 
3
3.1.29Idaite
Cu
 
5
FeS
 
6
3.1.30Nukundamite
Cu
 
3.4
Fe
 
0.6
S
 
4
3.1.31Putoranite
Cu
 
9
(Fe,Ni)
 
9
S
 
16
3.1.32Orickite
2CuFeS
 
2
· H
 
2
O
3.1.33Eskebornite
CuFeSe
 
2
3.1.34Chaméanite
(Cu,Fe)
 
4
As(Se,S)
 
4
3.1.35Talnakhite
Cu
 
9
(Fe,Ni)
 
8
S
 
16

Other Names for Covellite

Synonyms:
Blue CopperBreithauptite (of Chapman)Copper IndigoCovellineCovellinite
CovelloniteIndigo Copper
Other Languages:
Catalan:Covel·lita
Dutch:Covellien
German:Covellin
Blaues Kupferglas
Covellinit
Covellit
Covellonit
Kupferindig
Italian:Covellite
Covellina
Japanese:銅藍
Russian:Ковеллин
Simplified Chinese:铜蓝
铜兰
Slovak:Covellit
Spanish:Covelita
Covellinita
Covellita
Covellonita
Traditional Chinese:銅藍
銅蘭
Ukrainian:Ковелін
Varieties:
Argentian CovelliteSelenian Covellite

Other Information

Health Warning:No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.
Industrial Uses:An ore of copper, sometimes of major importance but more typically a lesser one.

References for Covellite

Reference List:

- +
Freiesleben (1815): 3: 129 (as Blaues Kupferglas).

Breithaupt (1817), In: Hoffmann: 4b: 178 (as Kupferindig).

Covelli, N., (1827): Sur le Bisulfure de Cuivre qui se forme actuellement dans le Vesuve (1826), Ann. Chim. Vol. XXXV, 105-111, Paris.

Covelli., N., (1827): Über das gegenwärtig am Vesuv sich bildende Doppelt-Schwefelkupfer, Annalen der Physik und Chemie, Vol. 86, 494-498.

Palache, Charles, Harry Berman & Clifford Frondel (1944), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana Yale University 1837-1892, Volume I: Elements, Sulfides, Sulfosalts, Oxides. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York. 7th edition, revised and enlarged, 834pp.: 248-251.

American Mineralogist (1976): 61: 996-1000.

Anthony, J.W., Bideaux, R.A., Bladh, K.W., and Nichols, M.C. (1990) Handbook of Mineralogy, Volume I. Elements, Sulfides, Sulfosalts. Mineral Data Publishing, Tucson, AZ, 588pp.: 112.

Wang, N. (1994): The Cu-Bi-S system: results from low-temperature experiments. Mineralogical Magazine 58, 201-214. [on Bi solubility in CuS, and metastable solid solution series Cu10Bi2S13]

Gaines, Richard V., H. Catherine, W. Skinner, Eugene E. Foord, Brian Mason, Abraham Rosenzweig, Vandall T. King (1997, Dana's New Mineralogy : The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, 8th. edition: 79.

Robert Cook (2006) Connoisseur's Choice: Covellite Summitville, Rio Grande County, Colorado. Rocks & Minerals 81:296-300

Best Localities for Covellite

Best of Species:Covellite

Internet Links for Covellite

Search Engines:
  • Look for Covellite on Google
  • Look for Covellite images on Google
  • External Links:
  • Look for Covellite on Webmineral
  • Look for Covellite on Athena Mineralogy
  • Look for Covellite on Wikipedia
  • Look for Covellite on Mineralien Atlas
  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project
  • American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
  • Covellite details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
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  • Specimens:The following Covellite specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

    Localities for Covellite

    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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    Updated Mineral Entry: ChertFrom Amir C. Akhavan, 21st Sep 2014 08:27:48