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Brochantite

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André Brochant de Villiers
Formula:
Cu4(SO4)(OH)6
System:
Monoclinic
Colour:
Green, emerald green, ...
Lustre:
Vitreous, Pearly
Hardness:
3½ - 4
Name:
Named in 1824 by Serve-Dieu Abailard "Armand" Lévy in honor of the French geologist and mineralogist, André-Jean-François-Marie Brochant de Villiers [August 6, 1772 Mantes-la-Ville, Yvelines, France - May 16, 1840 Paris, France].
A common secondary copper hydroxy sulphate. Two polytypes, both monoclinic, are known (see below).

May be observed as pseudomorphs after malachite, azurite and langite, and altered to chrysocolla. Acicular varieties may be confused with acicular dioptase.

See also the closely related, less common antlerite.


Classification of Brochantite

Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
7.BB.25

7 : SULFATES (selenates, tellurates, chromates, molybdates, wolframates)
B : Sulfates (selenates, etc.) with additional anions, without H2O
B : With medium-sized cations
Dana 7th ed.:
30.1.3.1
30.1.3.1

30 : ANHYDROUS SULFATES CONTAINING HYDROXYL OR HALOGEN
1 : (AB)m(XO4)pZq, where m:p>2:1
25.2.7

25 : Sulphates
2 : Sulphates of Cu and Ag
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First Recorded Occurrence of Brochantite

Year of Discovery:
1824

Occurrences of Brochantite

Geological Setting:
In arid climates or in rapidly oxidizing copper sulfide deposits under low acid conditions.

Physical Properties of Brochantite

Vitreous, Pearly
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent, Translucent
Comment:
Pearly on cleavages.
Colour:
Green, emerald green, green-black, light green; bluish green in transmitted light.
Streak:
Pale green
Hardness (Mohs):
3½ - 4
Cleavage:
Perfect
On {100} perfect.
Fracture:
Irregular/Uneven, Conchoidal
Density:
3.97 g/cm3 (Measured)    4.09 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Crystallography of Brochantite

Crystal System:
Monoclinic
Class (H-M):
2/m - Prismatic
Space Group:
P21/b
Space Group Setting:
P21/a
Cell Parameters:
a = 13.08Å, b = 9.85Å, c = 6.02Å
β = 103.35°
Ratio:
a:b:c = 1.328 : 1 : 0.611
Unit Cell Volume:
V 754.65 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:
4
Morphology:
Crystals stout prismatic to acicular [001], elongated [010] at times, or, [100] more rarely; also tabular {001}. Loosely coherent aggregates of acicular crystals; groups and drusy crusts; massive, granular.
Twinning:
On {100} with composition surface {100}, common. The twinned crystals are often symmetrical and pseudo-orthorhombic in appearance.
Comment:
OD structure. The MDO1 polytype (P21/a; cell given above) corresponds to "normal" brochantite. The MDO2 polytype has space group P21/n and a = 12.776, b = 9.869, c = 6.026 A, beta = 90.15 (Merlino et al., 2003).
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
6.38 (40)
5.36 (40)
3.90 (85)
3.19 (40)
2.923 (20)
2.678 (50)
2.521 (100)

Optical Data of Brochantite

Type:
Biaxial (-)
RI values:
nα = 1.728 nβ = 1.771 nγ = 1.800
2V:
Measured: 72° , Calculated: 76°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.072
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Very High
Dispersion:
medium r < v
Pleochroism:
Weak
Comments:
Slight in shades of bluish green.

Chemical Properties of Brochantite

Formula:
Cu4(SO4)(OH)6
Essential elements:
All elements listed in formula:

Relationship of Brochantite to other Species

7.BB.05CaminiteMg7(SO4)5(OH)4 · H2O
7.BB.10HauckiteFe33+(Mg,Mn2+)24Zn18(SO4)4(CO3)2(OH)81
7.BB.15AntleriteCu3(SO4)(OH)4
7.BB.20DolerophaniteCu2(SO4)O
7.BB.30VergasovaiteCu3(SO4)(MoO4,SO4)O
7.BB.35Klebelsbergite(SbO)4(SO4)(OH)2
7.BB.40SchuetteiteHg32+(SO4)O2
7.BB.45ParaotwayiteNi(OH)2-x(SO4,CO3)0.5x
7.BB.50XocomecatliteCu3(TeO4)(OH)4
7.BB.55Pauflerite(V4+O)SO4
7.BB.60GrandviewiteCu3Al9(SO4)2(OH)29
25.2.1ChalcocyaniteCuSO4
25.2.2BonattiteCuSO4 · 3H2O
25.2.3ChalcanthiteCuSO4 · 5H2O
25.2.4BoothiteCuSO4 · 7H2O
25.2.5DolerophaniteCu2(SO4)O
25.2.6AntleriteCu3(SO4)(OH)4
25.2.8PosnjakiteCu4(SO4)(OH)6 · H2O
25.2.9LangiteCu4(SO4)(OH)6 · 2H2O
25.2.10WroewolfeiteCu4(SO4)(OH)6 · 2H2O
25.2.11KröhnkiteNa2Cu(SO4)2 · 2H2O
25.2.12NatrochalciteNaCu2(SO4)2(OH) · 2H2O
25.2.13PiypiteK2Cu2(SO4)2O
25.2.14FedotoviteK2Cu3(SO4)3O
25.2.15CyanochroiteK2Cu(SO4)2 · 6H2O
25.2.16EuchlorineKNaCu3(SO4)3O
25.2.17DevillineCaCu4(SO4)2(OH)6 · 3H2O
25.2.18LeightoniteK2Ca2Cu(SO4)4 · 2H2O
25.2.19ChalcoalumiteCuAl4(SO4)(OH)12 · 3H2O
25.2.20CyanotrichiteCu4Al2(SO4)(OH)12 · 2H2O
25.2.21WoodwarditeCu1-xAlx(OH)2[SO4]x/2 · nH2O
25.2.22CampigliaiteMn2+Cu4(SO4)2(OH)6 · 4H2O
25.2.23GuilditeCuFe3+(SO4)2(OH) · 4H2O
25.2.24RansomiteCuFe2(SO4)4 · 6H2O
25.2.26KlyuchevskiteK3Cu3(Fe3+,Al)(SO4)4O2
25.2.27Poitevinite(Cu,Fe,Zn)SO4 · H2O
25.2.28ArgentojarositeAgFe33+(SO4)2(OH)6

Other Names for Brochantite

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 Brochantite

Reference List:
Lévy (1824) Annals of Philosophy, London: 8: 241.

Lévy (1826) Annals of Philosophy, London: 11: 194 (as Königine).

Huot, J.J. (1841) Manuel de Minéralogie. 2 volumes, Paris: 1: 331 (as Brongniartine).

Forchhammer (1842) Skand. Nat. Stockholm, Arsb. 192, 1843 (as Krisuvigite).

Maskelyne (1864) The Chemical News: 10: 263 (as Waringtonite).

Maskelyne (1865) Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science: 29: 475 (as Waringtonite).

Ford (1910) American Journal of Science: 30: 16.

Goldschmidt, V. (1913) Atlas der Krystallformen. 9 volumes, atlas, and text: vol. 1: 234.

Schoep and Buysse (1923) Bulletin de la Sociètè Belge de Gèologie: 33: 72.

Hintze, Carl (1929) Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1 [3B]: 4220.

Posnjak and Tunell (1929) American Journal of Science: 18: 1.

Vavrinecz (1929) Magyar Chem. Foly.: 35: 1.

Cavinato (1939) Periodico di Mineralogia – Roma: 10: 259.

Palache, C. (1939) American Mineralogist: 24: 463.

Lauro C. (1940) Sulle costanti reticolari della brochantite. Periodico di Mineralogia – Roma. 12: 419-427.

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.: 541-544.

Cocco G., Mazzi F. (1959): La struttura della brochantite. Periodico di Mineralogia – Roma, 28, 121-149.

Helliwell, M. & Smith, J. V. (1997): Brochantite. Acta Crystallographica, C53, 1369-1371.

Merlino, S., Perchiazzi, N. & Franco, D. (2003): Brochantite, Cu4SO4(OH)6: OD character, polytypism and crystal structures. European Journal of Mineralogy 15, 267-275.

Vilminot, S.; Richard-Plouet, M.; Andre, G.; Swierczynski, D.; Bouree-Vigneron, F. & Kurmoo, M. (2006): Nuclear and magnetic structures and magnetic properties of synthetic brochantite, Cu4(OH)6SO4. Dalton Transactions (11), 1455-1462.

Yoder, C. H., Agee, T. M., Ginion, K. E., Hofmann, A. E., Ewanichak, J. E., Schaeffer, C. D., Jr., Carroll, M. J., Schaeffer, R. W. & McCaffrey, P. F. (2007): The relative stabilities of the copper hydroxyl sulphates. Mineralogical Magazine 71, 571-577.

Crichton, W. A. & Muller, H. (2008): Brochantite-2M2 from Pierre Plate Mine, Vizille. Powder Diffraction 23, 246-250.

F. Girgsdies and M. Behrens (2012): On the structural relations of malachite. II. The brochantite MDO polytypes. Acta Crystallogr. B68, 571-577.

Internet Links for Brochantite

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

Localities for Brochantite

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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