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Turquoise

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Formula:
Cu(Al,Fe
3+
 
)
 
6
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
(OH)
 
8
· 4H
 
2
O
System:TriclinicColour:bright blue, sky-blue, ...
Hardness:5 - 6
Member of:Turquoise Group
Name:Named in antiquity from French "turquoise" meaning "Turkish"; the original material from the south slopes of the Al-Mirsah-Kuh Mountains (Iran), found its way to Europe via Turkey.
Isostructural with:Chalcosiderite


Turquoise Group. Chalcosiderite-Turquoise Series. Planerite-Turquoise Series. The copper analogue of Faustite.

A secondary mineral occurring in the potassic alteration zone of hydrothermal porphyry copper deposits. Also formed by the action of meteoric waters, usually in arid regions, on aluminous igneous or sedimentary rocks (as vein filling in volcanic rocks and phosphatic sediments).

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Classification of Turquoise

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:7/D.15-40
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:8.DD.15

8 : PHOSPHATES, ARSENATES, VANADATES
D : Phosphates, etc. with additional anions, with H2O
D : With only medium-sized cations, (OH, etc.):RO4= 2:1
Dana 7th edition ID:42.9.3.1
Dana 8th edition ID:42.9.3.1

42 : HYDRATED PHOSPHATES, ETC.CONTAINING HYDROXYL OR HALOGEN
9 : (AB)7(XO4)4Zq·xH2O
Hey's CIM Ref.:19.2.8

19 : Phosphates
2 : Phosphates of Cu
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Occurrences of Turquoise

Geological Setting:Secondary mineral in potassic alteration zone of porphry copper deposits. Vein fillings in volcanic rocks and phosphate-rich sediments.

Physical Properties of Turquoise

Lustre:Vitreous, Waxy, Dull
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Transparent, Translucent, Opaque
Comment:Dull to waxy in massive varieties, vitreous in crystals.
Colour:bright blue, sky-blue, pale green, blue-green, turquoise-blue, apple-green, green-gray
Streak:Pale greenish blue to white
Hardness (Mohs):5 - 6
Cleavage:Perfect
on {001}, good on {010}
Fracture:Conchoidal
Density (measured):2.6 - 2.8 g/cm3
Density (calculated):2.91 g/cm3

Crystallography of Turquoise

Crystal System:Triclinic
Class (H-M):1 - Pinacoidal
Space Group:P1
Cell Parameters:a = 7.409(1) Å, b = 7.635(1) Å, c = 9.914(2) Å
α = 111.356°, β = 114.973°, γ = 69.532°
Ratio:a:b:c = 0.97 : 1 : 1.298
Unit Cell Volume:V 449.39 ų
Z:1
Morphology:Crystals rare. Steep pinacoidal crystals exhibiting {010}, {110} and {001}. Fine granular, globular crusts, veinlets, massive.
Crystal Atlas:
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Turquoise no.1 - 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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Structure
  Reference
Kolitsch U Giester G (2000) The crystal structure of faustite and its copper analogue turquoise Locality: Iron Monarch iron ore deposit, South Australia. Mineralogical Magazine 64:905-913.

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More Crystal Structures
Click here to view more crystal structures at the American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
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
9.09 (50)
6.17 (70)
4.80 (60)
3.68 (100)
3.44 (70)
3.28 (70)
2.91 (80)
2.02 (60)
Comments:ICDD 6-214

Optical Data of Turquoise

Type:Biaxial (+)
RI values: nα = 1.610 nβ = 1.615 nγ = 1.650
2V:Measured: 40° , Calculated: 44°
Birefringence:0.040
Maximum Birefringence:δ = 0.040

Chart shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:Moderate
Dispersion:r < v strong
Pleochroism:Weak
Comments:X= colorless
Z= pale blue or pale green

Chemical Properties of Turquoise

Formula:
Cu(Al,Fe
3+
 
)
 
6
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
(OH)
 
8
· 4H
 
2
O
Simplified for copy/paste:Cu(Al,Fe3+)6(PO4)4(OH)8·4H2O
Essential elements:Al, Cu, H, O, P
All elements listed in formula:Al, Cu, Fe, H, O, P
Common Impurities:Fe,Ca

Relationship of Turquoise to other Species

Series:Forms a series with Chalcosiderite (see here)
Forms a series with Planerite (see here)
Member of:Turquoise Group
Other Members of Group:

- +
Aheylite
(Fe
2+
 
,Zn)Al
 
6
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
(OH)
 
8
· 4H
 
2
O
Chalcosiderite
Cu(Fe
3+
 
,Al)
 
6
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
(OH)
 
8
· 4H
 
2
O
Faustite
(Zn,Cu)Al
 
6
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
(OH)
 
8
· 4H
 
2
O
Planerite
Al
 
6
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(HPO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
8
· 4 H
 
2
O
Common Associates:
WavellitePyriteMontmorilloniteLimoniteKaolinite
ChalcedonyAllophane
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
8.DD.05Chenevixite
Cu
 
2
Fe
3+
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
4
8.DD.05Luetheite
Cu
 
2
Al
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
4
8.DD.10Akrochordite
(Mn
2+
 
,Mg)
 
5
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
4
· 4H
 
2
O
8.DD.10Guanacoite
Cu
 
2
Mg
 
3
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
4
· 4H
 
2
O
8.DD.15Aheylite
(Fe
2+
 
,Zn)Al
 
6
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
(OH)
 
8
· 4H
 
2
O
8.DD.15Chalcosiderite
Cu(Fe
3+
 
,Al)
 
6
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
(OH)
 
8
· 4H
 
2
O
8.DD.15Faustite
(Zn,Cu)Al
 
6
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
(OH)
 
8
· 4H
 
2
O
8.DD.15Planerite
Al
 
6
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(HPO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
8
· 4 H
 
2
O
8.DD.15Afmite
Al
 
3
(OH)
 
4
(H2O)
 
3
(PO
 
4
)(PO
 
3
OH) · H2O
8.DD.20Childrenite
(Fe
2+
 
,Mn
2+
 
)Al(PO
 
4
)(OH)
 
2
· H
 
2
O
8.DD.20Eosphorite
(Mn
2+
 
,Fe
2+
 
)Al(PO
 
4
)(OH)
 
2
· H
 
2
O
8.DD.20Ernstite
(Mn
2+
 
,Fe
3+
 
)Al(PO
 
4
)(OH,O)
 
2
· H
 
2
O
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
19.2.5Pseudomalachite
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
19.2.9Sieleckiite
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 Turquoise

Synonyms:
CalaiteCallaicaCallainaCallais (of Pliny)Chalchihuitl (of Blake)
ChalchiteChalchuiteForizegoHydrargillite (of Hausmann)Johnite
Oriental TurquoiseTurquesTurquois
Other Languages:
Arabic:فيروز
Basque:Turkesa
Catalan:Turquesa
Czech:Tyrkys
Dutch:Turkoois
Esperanto:Turkiso
Estonian:Türkiis
Finnish:Turkoosi
French:Turquoise
Turquoise de vieille roche
Galician:Turquesa
Georgian:ფირუზი
German:Türkis
Calait
Chalchit
Chalchuit
Henwoodit
Johnit
Kalait
Kallait
Orientalischer Türkis
Hebrew:טורקיז
Hindi:फीरोजा़
Hungarian:Türkiz
Italian:Turchese
Turchesa
Turchesia
Turchine
Japanese:トルコ石
綠松石
Latin:Turcica
Turquois orientale
Lithuanian:Turkis
Persian:فیروزه
Firuzegi
Polish:Turkus
Portuguese:Turquesa
Quechua:Anqas umiña
Russian:Бирюза
Simplified Chinese:绿松石
Slovak:Tyrkys
Spanish:Turquesa
Calaita
Chalchita
Chalchuita
Henwoodita
Johnita
Swedish:Turkos
Turkish:Turkuaz
Ukrainian:Бірюза
Vietnamese:Ngọc lam
Varieties:
AgaphiteRashleighite

Other Information

Fluorescence in UV light:Not fluorescent
Other Information:Soluble with difficulty in HCl.

Often found as pseudomorphs after orthoclase; also after apatite, bone and teeth.
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:Jewelry stone.

References for Turquoise

Reference List:

- +
Tavernier (1678) Voy. en Turquie, en Persie, etc., Paris.

Bocconi (1697) Museo di Fisica, etc.: 278 (as Turchine).

Fischer (1806) Mem. Soc. nat. Moscou: 1 (as Turquois orientale).

John (1806) Mem. soc. nat. Moscou: 1 (as Johnite).

John (1807) Journal für Chemie und Physik, Nuremberg: 3: 93 (as Johnite).

Onomasticon Min. Mus. Imp. Moscou (1811) (as Calaite).

Hausmann, J.F.L. (1813) Handbuch der Mineralogie 3 volumes, Göttingen: 444 (as Hydrargillite).

Blake (1883) American Journal of Science: 25: 197 (as Chalchuite).

Dana, E.S. (1892) System of Mineralogy, 6th. Edition, New York: 844.

Carnot (1894) Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences de Paris: 118: 995.

Penfield (1900) American Journal of Science: 10: 346.

Schaller (1912) American Journal of Science: 33: 35.

Schaller (1912) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 50: 120.

Pogue, J.E. (1915) The Turquois, a study of its history, mineralogy, geology, ethnology, archaeology, mythology, folklore, and technology. National Academy of Science Mem. 12, part 2, 207 pp.

Davy (1929) Transactions of the Royal Geology Society of Cornwall: 16: 43.

Hintze, Carl (1931) Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1 [3B]: 941.

Ball (1941) Bulletin of the Bureau of American Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution, no. 128 (Uses of turquoise in N. & S. America).

Pearl (1941) Economic Geology: 36: 335.

Northrop (1942) University of New Mexico Bulletin no. 379: 313.

Pearl (1945) Gemmologist, London: 14: 62.

Graham, R. (1947) X-ray study of chalcosiderite and turquoise. University of Toronto Studies, Geology Series, 52, 39–53.

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.: 646.

American Mineralogist (1953): 38: 964.

Cid-Dressner, H. (1965) Determination and refinement of the crystal structure of turquois, CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)8 •4H2O. Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 121: 87–113.

Zeitschrift für Kristallographie: 121: 87-113.

Guthrie, G.D., Jr. and D.L. Bish (1991) Refinement of the turquoise structure and determination of the hydrogen positions. Geological Society of America, Annual Meeting Abstracts with Program, 23(5), 158A (abs.).

Foord, E.E. & Taggart, J.E. (1998): A reexamination of the turquoise group; the mineral aheylite, planerite (redefined), turquoise and coeruleolactite. Mineralogical Magazine, 62, 93-111.

Extra Lapis No. 16 (1999).

Anthony, J.W., Bideaux, R.A., Bladh, K.W., and Nichols, M.C. (2000) Handbook of Mineralogy, Volume IV. Arsenates, Phosphates, Vanadates. Mineral Data Publishing, Tucson, AZ, 680pp.: 606.

Kolitsch, U. and G. Giester (2000): The crystal structure of faustite and its copper analogue turquoise. Mineral. Mag. 64, 905-913.

Y. A. Abdu, S. K. Hull, M. Fayek & F. C. Hawthorne (2011): The turquoise-chalcosiderite Cu(Al,Fe3+)6(PO4)4(OH)8•4H2O solid-solution series: A Mössbauer spectroscopy, XRD, EMPA, and FTIR study. American Mineralogist 96, 1433-1442.


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    Localities for Turquoise

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