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Pseudomalachite

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Formula:
Cu
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
4
System:MonoclinicColour:Blue-green, green, dark ...
Hardness:4 - 4½
Name:From the Greek ψευδής for "false" for its similarity to, but not being, malachite.
Polymorph of:Ludjibaite, Reichenbachite
Isostructural with:Cornwallite


The phosphate analogue of Cornwallite.
The monoclinic polymorph of Ludjibaite; a monoclinic variant polymorph of Reichenbachite.

A secondary mineral found in oxidized zones of copper deposits.

Classification of Pseudomalachite

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:7/B.11-20
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:8.BD.05

8 : PHOSPHATES, ARSENATES, VANADATES
B : Phosphates, etc., with additional anions, without H2O
D : With only medium-sized cations, (OH, etc.):RO4= 2:1
Dana 7th edition ID:41.4.3.1
Dana 8th edition ID:41.4.3.1

41 : ANHYDROUS PHOSPHATES, ETC.CONTAINING HYDROXYL OR HALOGEN
4 : (AB)5(XO4)2Zq
Hey's CIM Ref.:19.2.5

19 : Phosphates
2 : Phosphates of Cu
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Type Occurrence of Pseudomalachite

Type Locality:Virneberg Mine (St Josephsberg Mine), Rheinbreitbach, Linz am Rhein, Westerwald, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Year of Discovery:1813

Occurrences of Pseudomalachite

Geological Setting:Oxidized zones of copper deposits.

Physical Properties of Pseudomalachite

Lustre:Vitreous
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Translucent
Colour:Blue-green, green, dark green, green-black; green to bluish green in transmitted light.
Streak:Blue-green
Hardness (Mohs):4 - 4½
Cleavage:Imperfect/Fair
Imperfect on the {010}.
Fracture:Splintery, Conchoidal
Density (measured):3.6 - 4.34 g/cm3
Density (calculated):3.95 g/cm3

Crystallography of Pseudomalachite

Crystal System:Monoclinic
Class (H-M):2/m - Prismatic
Space Group:P21/b {P1 1 21/b} {P21/c} {P1 21/c 1} {P21/a}
Cell Parameters:a = 4.47Å, b = 5.75Å, c = 17.05Å
β = 91.06°
Ratio:a:b:c = 0.777 : 1 : 2.965
Unit Cell Volume:V 441.14 ų
Z:2
Morphology:Usually occurs as botryoidal crusts; hemispherical aggregates of microscopic crystals; sub-parallel aggregates with a drusy surface. Individual crystals are rare, prismatic [001], usually with uneven faces; small, tabular crystals (Manto Cuba Mine, Chile). Also occurs as reniform, botryoidal or massive with a radial-fibrous structure and concentric banding, the fibers elongated [010]; foliated; microcrystalline or dense; colloform.
Twinning:On {100}.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
Image Loading

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
4.48 (10)
3.46 (5)
2.42 (6)
2.39 (8)
2.32 (5)
2.23 (5)
1.728 (5)

Optical Data of Pseudomalachite

Type:Biaxial (-)
RI values: nα = 1.791 nβ = 1.856 nγ = 1.867
2V:Measured: 48° , Calculated: 42°
Maximum Birefringence:δ = 0.076

Chart shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:Very High
Dispersion:r > v perceptible

Chemical Properties of Pseudomalachite

Formula:
Cu
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
4
Simplified for copy/paste:Cu5(PO4)2(OH)4
Essential elements:Cu, H, O, P
All elements listed in formula:Cu, H, O, P

Relationship of Pseudomalachite to other Species

Series:Forms a series with Cornwallite (see here)
Common Associates:
TenoritePyromorphiteMalachiteLimoniteChrysocolla
Chalcedony
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
8.BD.05Cornwallite
Cu
 
5
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
4
8.BD.05Reichenbachite
Cu
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
4
8.BD.10Arsenoclasite
Mn
2+
5
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
4
8.BD.10Gatehouseite
Mn
2+
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
4
8.BD.15Parwelite
Mn
 
10
Sb
 
2
As
 
2
Si
 
2
O
 
24
8.BD.20Reppiaite
Mn
2+
5
(VO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
4
8.BD.25Ludjibaite
Cu
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
4
8.BD.30Cornubite
Cu
 
5
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
4
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
19.2.1Libethenite
Cu
 
2
(PO
 
4
)(OH)
19.2.2Cornetite
Cu
 
3
(PO
 
4
)(OH)
 
3
19.2.3Reichenbachite
Cu
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
4
19.2.4Ludjibaite
Cu
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
4
19.2.6Nissonite
Cu
 
2
Mg
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
2
· 5H
 
2
O
19.2.7Zapatalite
Cu
 
3
Al
 
4
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
(OH)
 
9
· 4H
 
2
O
19.2.8Turquoise
Cu(Al,Fe
3+
 
)
 
6
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
(OH)
 
8
· 4H
 
2
O
19.2.9Sieleckiite
Cu
 
3
Al
 
4
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
12
· 2H
 
2
O
19.2.10Planerite
Al
 
6
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(HPO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
8
· 4 H
 
2
O
19.2.11Hentschelite
CuFe
3+
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
2
19.2.13Chalcosiderite
Cu(Fe
3+
 
,Al)
 
6
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
(OH)
 
8
· 4H
 
2
O
19.2.14Phosphofibrite
K
 
<0.5
(Fe
3+
 
,Cu)
 
8
(PO
 
4
)
 
6
(OH)
 
7
· 7H
 
2
O

Other Names for Pseudomalachite

Synonyms:
DihydriteEhlitePhosphate of CopperPhosphorchalciteRhenite
Tagilite
Other Languages:
French:Cuivre Phosphaté
Hypoleimme
Ypoléime
German:Ehlit
Kupfer-Diaspor
Kupfer-diaspore
Lunnit
Phosphorchalcit
Phosphorkupfer
Phosphor-kupfererz
Phosphorocalcit
Phosphorochalcit
Phosphorokalzit
Phosphorsaures Kupfer
Phosphorsaures Kupferoxyd
Prasin
Prasin-chalzit
Pseudomalachit
Rhenit
Tagilith
Russian:Псевдомалахит
Simplified Chinese:假孔雀石
Spanish:Ehlita
Pseudomalachita
Rhenita

Other Information

Fluorescence in UV light:None.
Other Information:Soluble in acids.
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 Pseudomalachite

Reference List:

- +
Wallerius (as Kupfergrün).

Klaproth (1801) Ges. nat. Freunde Berlin, N. Schr.: 3: 304 (as Phosphorsaures Kupfer).

Karsten, D.L.G. (1808) Mineralogische Tabellen, Berlin. second edition: 64, 97 (as Phosphorkupfer).

Haüy, R.J. (1809) Tableau comparative des résultants de la cristallographie et de l’analyse chimique relativement à la classification des minéraux. Paris: 92 (as Cuivre phosphaté).

Hausmann, J.F.L. (1813) Handbuch der Mineralogie 3 volumes, Göttingen: 1035.

Glocker, E.F. (1831) Handbuch der Mineralogie, Nürnberg: 847 (as Phosphorocalcit).

Beudant, F.S. (1832), Trailé élémentaire de Minéralogie, second edition, 2 volumes: 2: 570 (as Ypoléime).

Breithaupt, A. (1832) Vollständige Characteristik etc. 2nd. Ed.: 45, 49 (as Ehlit, Prasin, Prasin-chalzit).

Bernhardi in: Glocker, E.F. (1839) Handbuch der Mineralogie, 2nd. edition, Nürnberg: 578 (as Lunnit).

Kühn (1844) Annalen der Chemie, Leipzig (Justus Liebig’s): 51: 125 (as Kupfer-diaspore).

Hermann (1846) Journal für praktische Chemie, Leipzig: 37: 178 (as Dihydrite).

Hermann (1846) Journal für praktische Chemie, Leipzig: 37: 184 (as Tagilith).

Heddle (1855) Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science: 10: 39.

Field (1859) Gazzetta chimica italiana, Rome: 17: 225 (as Tagilite).

Breithaupt (1865) Berg.- und hüttenmännisches Zeitung, Freiberg, Leipzig (merged into Glückauf): 24: 301 (as Tagilite).

Schrauf (1880) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 4: 1.

Lacroix, A. (1910) Minéralogie de la France et des ses colonies, Paris. 5 volumes: vol. 4: 433.

Goldschmidt, V. (1918) Atlas der Krystallformen. 9 volumes, atlas, and text: vol. 5: 173.

Larsen, E.S. (1921) The Microscopic Determination of the Nonopaque Minerals, First edition, USGS Bulletin 679: 68, 140 (as Tagilite).

Cesàro and Bellière (1922) Société géologique de Belgique, Liége, Annales: 45: 172.

Barth and Berman (1930) Chemie der Erde, Jena: 5: 22.

Hintze, Carl (1933) Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1 [4B]: 880, 1093, 1101.

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.: 799-801.

Guillemin, G. (1956b): Contribution à la minéralogie des arséniates, phosphates et vanadates de cuivre. II. Phosphates et vanadates. Bull. Soc. franç. Minéral. Cristallogr., 79: 219-275.

American Mineralogist (1977): 62: 1042-1048.

American Mineralogist (1981): 66: 176-181.

Braithwaite, R. S. W. and Ryback, G. (1994): Reichenbachite from Cornwall and Portugal. Mineral. Mag., 58, 449-454. [IR distinguishes from pseudomalachite]

Best Localities for Pseudomalachite

Best of Species:Pseudomalachite

Internet Links for Pseudomalachite

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  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project
  • American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
  • Pseudomalachite details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
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    Localities for Pseudomalachite

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