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Pseudomalachite

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Formula:
Cu5(PO4)2(OH)4
System:
Monoclinic
Colour:
Blue-green, green, dark ...
Hardness:
4 - 4½
Name:
From the Greek ψευδής for "false" for its similarity to, but not being, malachite.
Isostructural with:
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

Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
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 ed.:
41.4.3.1
41.4.3.1

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

19 : Phosphates
2 : Phosphates of Cu
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First Recorded Occurrence of Pseudomalachite

Year of Discovery:
1813

Occurrences of Pseudomalachite

Geological Setting:
Oxidized zones of copper deposits.

Physical Properties of Pseudomalachite

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:
3.6 - 4.34 g/cm3 (Measured)    3.95 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Crystallography of Pseudomalachite

Crystal System:
Monoclinic
Class (H-M):
2/m - Prismatic
Space Group:
P21/b
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:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction Data:
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°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.076
Image 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:
Cu5(PO4)2(OH)4
Essential elements:
All elements listed in formula:

Relationship of Pseudomalachite to other Species

Series:
Forms a series with Cornwallite (see here)
8.BD.05CornwalliteCu5(AsO4)2(OH)4
8.BD.05ReichenbachiteCu5(PO4)2(OH)4
8.BD.10ArsenoclasiteMn52+(AsO4)2(OH)4
8.BD.10GatehouseiteMn52+(PO4)2(OH)4
8.BD.15ParweliteMn10Sb2As2Si2O24
8.BD.20ReppiaiteMn52+(VO4)2(OH)4
8.BD.25LudjibaiteCu5(PO4)2(OH)4
8.BD.30CornubiteCu5(AsO4)2(OH)4
19.2.1LibetheniteCu2(PO4)(OH)
19.2.2CornetiteCu3(PO4)(OH)3
19.2.3ReichenbachiteCu5(PO4)2(OH)4
19.2.4LudjibaiteCu5(PO4)2(OH)4
19.2.6NissoniteCu2Mg2(PO4)2(OH)2 · 5H2O
19.2.7ZapataliteCu3Al4(PO4)3(OH)9 · 4H2O
19.2.8TurquoiseCu(Al,Fe3+)6(PO4)4(OH)8 · 4H2O
19.2.9SieleckiiteCu3Al4(PO4)2(OH)12 · 2H2O
19.2.10PlaneriteAl6(PO4)2(HPO4)2(OH)8 · 4 H2O
19.2.11HentscheliteCuFe23+(PO4)2(OH)2
19.2.13ChalcosideriteCu(Fe3+,Al)6(PO4)4(OH)8 · 4H2O
19.2.14PhosphofibriteK<0.5(Fe3+,Cu)8(PO4)6(OH)7 · 7H2O

Other Names for Pseudomalachite

Other Information

Other Information:
Soluble in acids.
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 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]

Internet Links for Pseudomalachite

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

Localities for Pseudomalachite

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