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Cuprite

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Formula:
Cu
 
2
O
System:IsometricColour:Dark red to cochineal ...
Lustre:Adamantine, Sub-Metallic, EarthyHardness:3½ - 4
Name:Named in 1845 by Wilhelm Karl von Haidinger from the Latin "cuprum," in allusion to its composition. Haidinger renamed a previously known mineral that had been known by a wide variety of names.


Cuprite is commonly found as an oxidation product of copper sulphides in the upper zones of veins, often associated with Native Copper, Malachite, Azurite, Limonite and Chalcocite. A fibrous form of Cuprite is known as Chalcotrichite.

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Classification of Cuprite

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:4/A.02-10
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:4.AA.10

4 : OXIDES (Hydroxides, V[5,6] vanadates, arsenites, antimonites, bismuthites, sulfites, selenites, tellurites, iodates)
A : Metal: Oxygen = 2:1 and 1:1
A : Cation:Anion (M:O) = 2:1 (and 1.8:1)
Dana 7th edition ID:4.1.1.1
Dana 8th edition ID:4.1.1.1

4 : SIMPLE OXIDES
1 : A2X
Hey's CIM Ref.:7.3.1

7 : Oxides and Hydroxides
3 : Oxides of Cu
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Occurrences of Cuprite

Geological Setting:Found in the oxidised zones of copper deposits.

Physical Properties of Cuprite

Lustre:Adamantine, Sub-Metallic, Earthy
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Transparent, Translucent
Colour:Dark red to cochineal red, sometimes almost black.
Streak:Shining metallic brownish-red.
Hardness (Mohs):3½ - 4
Hardness (Vickers):VHN100=183 - 222 kg/mm2
Hardness Data:Measured
Tenacity:Brittle
Cleavage:Imperfect/Fair
Interrupted on {111}, more rarely on {001}.
Fracture:Conchoidal
Density (measured):6.14 g/cm3
Density (calculated):6.15 g/cm3

Crystallography of Cuprite

Crystal System:Isometric
Class (H-M):m3m (4/m 3 2/m) - Hexoctahedral
Space Group:Pn3m
Cell Parameters:a = 4.2685Å
Unit Cell Volume:V 77.77 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:2
Morphology:Crystals octahedral or cubic, rarely dodecahedral, sometimes highly modified. In the variety "chalcotrichite" the crystals are greatly elongated [001] into capillary shapes.
Twinning:Penetration twins common.
Crystal Atlas:
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Cuprite no.1 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Cuprite no.57 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Cuprite no.80 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)

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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Edge Lines | Miller Indicies | Axes

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
3.02(10)
2.47(100)
2.14(40)
1.51(30)
1.29(20)
1.23(10)
0.980(10)
0.955(10)

Optical Data of Cuprite

Type:Isotropic
RI values: n = 2.849
Maximum Birefringence:δ = 0.000 - Isotropic minerals have no birefringence
Surface Relief:Very High
Type:Anisotropic
Anisotropism:Anomalous
Colour in reflected light:Bluish white
Internal Reflections:Blood-red
Pleochroism:Visible

Chemical Properties of Cuprite

Formula:
Cu
 
2
O
Simplified for copy/paste:Cu2O
Essential elements:Cu, O
All elements listed in formula:Cu, O
CAS Registry number:1317-39-1

CAS Registry numbers are published by the American Chemical Society

Relationship of Cuprite to other Species

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
4.AA.05Ice
H
 
2
O
4.AA.15Paramelaconite
Cu
 
2
Cu
 
2
O
 
3
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
7.3.2Tenorite
CuO
7.3.3Paramelaconite
Cu
 
2
Cu
 
2
O
 
3
7.3.4Spertiniite
Cu(OH)
 
2
7.3.5Crednerite
CuMnO
 
2
7.3.6Delafossite
CuFeO
 
2
7.3.7Cuprospinel
Cu
2+
 
Fe
3+
2
O
 
4

Other Names for Cuprite

Synonyms:
Octahedral CopperOctahedral Copper OreOxydulated CopperRed CopperRed Glassy Copper Ore
RuberiteRuby Copper
Other Languages:
Catalan:Cuprita
Dutch:Cupriet
Estonian:Kupriit
French:Cuivre oxidulé
Mine de cuivre vitreuse rouge
Minerai rouge de cuivre
Ziguéline (Synonym)
German:Cuprit
Haarförmiges Rotkupfererz
Kupferbraun
Kupfergewächs
Kupferglas
Kupferlebererz
Kupferoxydul
Kupferroth
Lebererzkupfer
Leberkupfererz
Rotes Kupferglas
Rothkupferez
Rotkupfererz
Ruberit
Hebrew:קופריט
Hungarian:Kuprit
Italian:Cuprite
Japanese:赤銅鉱
Latin:Aes caldarium rubro-fuscum
Cuprum tessulatum nudum
vulgo Kupferglas
Lithuanian:Kupritas
Polish:Kupryt
Portuguese:Cuprita
Russian:Куприт
Simplified Chinese:赤铜矿
红铜矿
Slovak:Kuprit
Spanish:Cuprita
Cobre Rojo
Ruberita
Swedish:Kopparglas (of Cronstedt)
Varieties:
ChalcotrichiteTile ore

Pronounciation of Cuprite

Pronounciation:
PlayRecorded byFrom
Jolyon & Katya RalphUnited Kingdom

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.
External LinksSearch for toxicity information at the United States National Library of Medicine

References for Cuprite

Reference List:

- +
Miers (1884), Phil. Magazine: 18: 127.

Bragg and Bragg (1915): 155.

Niggli (1922), Zs. Kr.: 57: 253.

Greenwood (1924), Phil. Mag.: 48: 654.

Neuburger (1931), Zs. Kr.: 77: 169.

Schroeder (1934), Centralblatt für Mineralogie: 353.

Palache, Charles, Harry Berman & Clifford Frondel (1944), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana Yale University 1837-1892, Seventh edition, Volume I: 629-631.

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: 204.

Acta Crystallographica: A46: 271-284.

Best Localities for Cuprite

Best of Species:Cuprite

Internet Links for Cuprite

Search Engines:
  • Look for Cuprite on Google
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  • External Links:
  • Look for Cuprite on Webmineral
  • Look for Cuprite on Athena Mineralogy
  • Look for Cuprite on Wikipedia
  • Look for Cuprite on Mineralien Atlas
  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project
  • American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
  • Cuprite details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
  • Mineral Dealers:
  • Find Cuprite on www.crystalclassics.co.uk
  • Cuprite specimens for sale - minfind.com
  • Search for Cuprite on Well-Arranged Molecules
  • Fabre Minerals - search for Cuprite specimens
  • Wilensky Fine Minerals
  • Fine minerals from bisbeeborn.com
  • Buy fine minerals and gemstones from Pala International
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  • Fine and rare minerals from mintreasure.com
  • Buy minerals from YourMineralCollection
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  • Fine Minerals from Weinrich Minerals, Inc.
  • Specimens:The following Cuprite specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

    Localities for Cuprite

    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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