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Azurite and Malachite Stones

Posted by Toni Swaim  
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Toni Swaim August 06, 2013 06:13AM
Hello,

I have azurite and malachite stones that were given to me years ago. The retired geologist told me they came from Arizona. I have had them for 30 + years and he was well into his 80's when he gave them to me. How do I find out if they are the famous AZ stones? How do I determine their value?

Thank you,

Toni
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Rock Currier August 06, 2013 11:28AM
We will need to see pictures to tell you anything that may be valid.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
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Toni August 06, 2013 06:37PM
Hello,

Thank you Rock Currier,

Here is my first stone. I took these pictures with a cell phone. They are prettier in person.
dimensions 4.75 inches X 3 inches X 2 inches.
I cleaned the stones last night with a tooth brush and dish soap. I found that the clay-like dirt came off. There is still a lot of dirt on the stones. The crystals are more transparent and more colorful than appears in the pictures .Do you know how to properly clean azurite and malachite? The places I cleaned revealed bright blue crystals.

Thank you,

Toni
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Don Saathoff August 06, 2013 07:14PM
Toni, I'm not one to give you a value but I will say that you have an excellant azurite specimen! Your cleaning approach is correct but use a soft bristled brush - azurite is relatively soft and scratches easily. DON'T use an abrasive cleaning agent - you will lose the luster on the crystal faces. I usually give a specimen a soak in clean water for a short time before "scrubbing" then another rinse or two to remove all traces of soap. Then a short soak in a wetting agent (as used in dishwashers to prevent spots) and then air dry.

The piece could be an early Bisbee specimen in which case it's value would increase. Some Bisbee collector will probably chime in with more relevant information. Many of the Arizona copper mines produced excellant azurite & malachite so locality might remain a mystery!

Don
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Toni August 06, 2013 07:56PM
Hello,

Rock #2, This rock has a crystal cave that goes all the way through the stone. Its tough to photograph.
There is still a lot of dirt on this one. The brown/orange stuff washes off.

Thank you,

Toni
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Toni August 06, 2013 07:59PM
Rock 2, more pictures
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Toni August 06, 2013 08:01PM
Rock 2, continued
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Toni August 06, 2013 08:13PM
Rock # 3 :This rock is dirty and has a lot of green pointy crystals.
dimensions, 6 inches X 4.25 inches X 2 inches
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Toni August 06, 2013 08:28PM
Rock # 3 continued
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Toni August 06, 2013 08:35PM
Rock # 3, other side The brown stuff will wash off. There is a lot of pretty stone under the dirt.
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Toni August 06, 2013 09:03PM
Rock # 4 This rock is filthy. My apologies, no time to clean it now.
Dimension 5 inches X 5 inches X 4.5 inches
There are little caves with bright blue crystals that do not photograph well, some crystals are 4mm X 3mm, but are inside

Thank you for looking at my stones.

I am looking forward to your assessment.


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Mark Pecha August 07, 2013 03:29AM
Hi Toni,

I am an Arizona mineral collector who specializes in Bisbee specimens, and I think they certainly look like they are all from Bisbee, Arizona. Difficult to determine exactly which mine(s) they are from but I suspect either the Czar mine or Holbrook shaft. They are all nice specimens but most of the value is in specimen #1 and #3. I would estimate the values as follows:

Specimen #1 ~$300-$500
Specimen #2 ~$50-$75
Specimen #3 ~$200-$300
Specimen #4 ~$50-$75

This is my first post on mindat and I hope it was helpful...

Cheers,

Mark
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Toni August 07, 2013 03:55AM
Mark,

Thanks for your estimates.

I saw huge prices for some azurite and malachite and was hoping this was a little gold mine.

What are the characteristics for azurite and malachite that makes the price go up into the thousands?

I found a piece on JTV, 8 X 7.5mm, $1750. Looks like mine with smaller crystals, but I have an untrained eye.

Thank you,

Toni
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Mark Pecha August 07, 2013 04:12AM
Toni,

There are a multitude of factors that go into determining what a specimen is worth. Some of the most important factors are damage (or lack of), crystal form, size, location, associations, rarity, etc., but probably most important are the overall aesthetics of the specimen. There can be a fine line (just a few small dings or contacts) between a truly great specimen worth thousands and a similar one worth only hundreds. Size is not always a good indicator of value.

Hopefully, someone else will chime in with additional estimated values of your pieces. Perhaps they are worth a little gold mine to someone out there...

Mark
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Toni August 07, 2013 06:29PM
Mark,

Your explanation clarified the price differences. It was very easy to see a stone that looked similar to mine and assume mine was worth a fortune. The fine line explanation is true and makes absolute sense. The true value for me is sentimental. Since a was a very young child I have been picking up rocks and putting them in my pockets. Thanks for letting me know that my stones are most likely from Brisbee. I have made a note of it and used your name as a reference, hope that's OK. I have many stones from Arizona. Some I collected when I was child, others were given to me by my grand fathers neighbor, Mr. G, the retired geologist. This has been fun.

Thank you,

Toni
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Rock Currier August 07, 2013 09:11PM
Toni,
Where are the specimens from? Did you dig them?

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
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Toni August 08, 2013 07:33AM
Hello Rock Currier,

When I was a kid my Grandparents took us on road trips. We camped along the way. We travel from Oregon down through California and across Arizona. Also went to Idaho on the Snake and Salmon rivers. When I was very young we went to Utah. We picked up stones all over. Some I found, others were bought at roadside. A few times we stopped at friends and relatives and I got to rummage threw their rock piles.

Thanks for your interest,

Toni
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Rock Currier August 08, 2013 09:07AM
I think the first one you pictures is the best one and perhaps it might sell for $300. The others would be less.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
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Toni August 08, 2013 07:16PM
Hello Rock Currier,

I thought your post was in reference to my entire collection. Which comes from all over the US, Northern Mexico and Canada. The pictures of the azurite and malachite are from Arizona and they were mined years ago. Old Brisbee.

Thank you,

Toni
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Rock Currier August 08, 2013 08:28PM
I was talking about the azurite specimen 01.jpg that you posted near the top of this thread.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Sorry, you do not have permission to post/reply in this forum.


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