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Azurite

This page kindly sponsored by Mariusz Oleszczuk
Formula:
Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2
System:
Monoclinic
Colour:
Azure blue, blue, light ...
Lustre:
Vitreous
Hardness:
3½ - 4
Name:
From the ancient Persian lazhward, meaning "blue", in allusion to the color. Name changed to azurite in 1824 by Francois Sulpice Beudant.
A secondary copper mineral frequently found in the oxidized zones of Cu-bearing ore deposits.

Azurite is typically found as tabular to prismatic crystals of a deep "azure blue" color with splendent vitreous faces. There are over 45 well-known forms, and over 100 forms have been described. Azurite is often pseudomorphed to Malachite, and the two are very frequently found together.
Azurite may be confused with (the very rare) Mrázekite.

Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Azurite.

Classification of Azurite

Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
5.BA.05

5 : CARBONATES (NITRATES)
B : Carbonates with additional anions, without H2O
A : With Cu, Co, Ni, Zn, Mg, Mn
Dana 7th ed.:
16.2.1.1
16a.2.1.1

16a : ANHYDROUS CARBONATES CONTAINING HYDROXYL OR HALOGEN
2 : (AB)3(XO3)2Zq
11.2.2

11 : Carbonates
2 : Carbonates of Cu
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First Recorded Occurrence of Azurite

Year of Discovery:
1824

Occurrences of Azurite

Geological Setting:
Found largely in the oxidized portions of copper deposits, it is a secondary mineral formed by the action of carbonated water acting on copper-containing minerals, or from Cu-containing solutions, such as CuSO^4 or CuCl^2 reacting with limestones.

Physical Properties of Azurite

Vitreous
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent, Translucent
Colour:
Azure blue, blue, light blue, or dark blue; light blue in transmitted light
Streak:
Light blue
Hardness (Mohs):
3½ - 4
Hardness Data:
Measured
Tenacity:
Brittle
Cleavage:
Perfect
Perfect on {011}; on {100} fair; on {110} in traces.
Parting:
None
Fracture:
Conchoidal
Density:
3.77 g/cm3 (Measured)    3.834 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Crystallography of Azurite

Crystal System:
Monoclinic
Class (H-M):
2/m - Prismatic
Space Group:
P21/b
Cell Parameters:
a = 5Å, b = 5.84Å, c = 10.35Å
β = 92.33°
Ratio:
a:b:c = 0.856 : 1 : 1.772
Unit Cell Volume:
V 301.97 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:
2
Morphology:
Tabular {001}, less common {102} or {102}; prismatic [001] or [010]; sometimes equant or even rhombohedral; faces may be wavy with striations on {001} parallel to "a", on {100} parallel to "b." May also be massive, stalactic, or botryoidal.
Twinning:
Rare, across {101}, {102} or {001}.

Crystallographic forms of Azurite

Crystal Atlas:
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Azurite no.1 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Azurite no.87 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Azurite no.157 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Azurite no.301 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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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
5.15(60)
5.08(30)
3.67(50)
3.52(100)
2.54(30)
2.51(40)
2.29(40)
2.22(70)

Optical Data of Azurite

Type:
Biaxial (+)
RI values:
nα = 1.730 nβ = 1.758 nγ = 1.838
2V:
Measured: 68° , Calculated: 64°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.108
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
High
Dispersion:
relatively weak
Pleochroism:
Visible
Comments:
Pleochroic in blue, with absorption Z greater than Y greater than X.

Chemical Properties of Azurite

Formula:
Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2
Essential elements:
All elements listed in formula:

Relationship of Azurite to other Species

5.BA.10GeorgeiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2 · 6H2O
5.BA.10Glaukosphaerite(Cu,Ni)2(CO3)(OH)2
5.BA.10Kolwezite(Cu,Co)2(CO3)(OH)2
5.BA.10MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
5.BA.10Mcguinnessite(Mg,Cu)2(CO3)(OH)2
5.BA.10NullaginiteNi2(CO3)(OH)2
5.BA.10PokrovskiteMg2(CO3)(OH)2
5.BA.10Rosasite(Cu,Zn)2(CO3)(OH)2
5.BA.10Zincrosasite(Zn,Cu)2(CO3)(OH)2
5.BA.10ChukanoviteFe22+(CO3)(OH)2
5.BA.15Aurichalcite(Zn,Cu)5(CO3)2(OH)6
5.BA.15HydrozinciteZn5(CO3)2(OH)6
5.BA.20HoldawayiteMn6(CO3)2(OH)7(Cl,OH)
5.BA.25DeferniteCa6(CO3)2-x(SiO4)x(OH)7(Cl,OH)1-2x (x<0.5)
5.BA.25UM1977-03-COSiO:CaClHCa10(SiO4)(CO3)7(Cl,OH)2
5.BA.30Loseyite(Mn2+,Zn,Mg)4Zn3(CO3)2(OH)10
5.BA.30Sclarite(Zn,Mg,Mn2+)4Zn3(CO3)2(OH)10
11.2.1MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
11.2.4ChalconatroniteNa2Cu(CO3)2 · 3H2O
11.2.5CallaghaniteCu2Mg2(CO3)(OH)6 · 2H2O

Other Names for Azurite

Other Information

Other Information:
Soluble in dilute acids, ammonia, and hot concentrated solutions of NaHCO3. Slowly decomposed with removal of CO2 by boiling, but not by cold, water.
Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.
Industrial Uses:
A very minor ore of copper.

References for Azurite

Reference List:
Wallerius, J.G (1747) Mineralogia, eller Mineralriket. Stockholm: 280 (as Cæruleum montanum).

Stütz (1798) Einricht. nat., Vienna: 49 (as Unächter Lasurstein).

Beudant, F.S. (1824), Trailé élémentaire de Minéralogie, Paris: 417.

Haidinger, Wm. (1845) Handbuch der bestimmenden Mineralogie. Vienna: 508 (as Lasur).

Rose (1851) Annalen der Physik, Halle, Leipzig: 84: 484.

Breithaupt, A. (1852) Berg.- und hüttenmännisches Zeitung, Freiberg, Leipzig (merged into Glückauf): 11: 101 (as Zinkazurit).

Brooke, H.J. and Miller, W.H. (1852) Introduction to Mineralogy by Wm. Phillips, London, 1823. New edition by Brooke and Miller, London: 594 (as Chessylite).

Kobell, Fr. Von (1853): 32 (as Lasurit).

Dana, J.D. (1868) System of Mineralogy, 5th. Edition, New York: 715.

Schrauf (1871) Konigliche Akademie der Wissenschaften, Sitzber., Vienna: 64: 123.

Schröder (1874) Jb. Min.: 712.

Yeates (1889) American Journal of Science: 38: 405.

Dana, E.S. (1892) System of Mineralogy, 6th. Edition, New York: 295.

Lacroix (1909): 3: 756.

Merwin (1914) Journal of the Washington Academy of Science: 4: 253.

Schrader et al (1917) USGS Bulletin 624 (localities).

Goldschmidt, V. (1918) Atlas der Krystallformen. 9 volumes, atlas, and text: vol. 5: 85.

Larsen, E.S. (1921) The Microscopic Determination of the Nonopaque Minerals, First edition, USGS Bulletin 679: 43.

Palache, C. and Lewis (1927) American Mineralogist: 12: 99.

Stecher (1929) Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie, Beil.-Bd., Heidelberg, Stuttgart: 59A: 159.

Zedlitz (1929) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 71: 1.

Brasseur (1931) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 77: 177.

Brasseur (1932) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 82: 195.

Brasseur (1933) Soc. roy. sc. Liége, Mem.: 18: 1.

Galbraith (1941) Arizona Bureau of Mines, Geology Series, Bull. 149.

Palache and Lewis (1942) American Mineralogist: 27: 334.

Beck (1946) Ph.D. thesis, Harvard University (unpublished).

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: Halides, Nitrates, Borates, Carbonates, Sulfates, Phosphates, Arsenates, Tungstates, Molybdates, Etc. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged: 264-269.

Zeitschrift für Kristallographie: 135: 416-436.

Gaines, Richard V., H. Catherine, W. Skinner, Eugene E. Foord, Brian Mason, Abraham Rosenzweig (1997), Dana's New Mineralogy : The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, 8th. edition: 482.

Internet Links for Azurite

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

Localities for Azurite

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.
Mineral and/or Locality  
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