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Cuprite

This page kindly sponsored by Chris Whitney-Smith
Formula:
Cu2O
Colour:
Dark red to cochineal red, sometimes almost black.
Lustre:
Adamantine, Sub-Metallic, Earthy
Hardness:
3½ - 4
Specific Gravity:
6.14
Crystal System:
Isometric
Name:
Named in 1845 by Wilhelm Karl von Haidinger from the Latin "cuprum," in allusion to its composition. Haidinger renamed a previously known mineral that had been known by a wide variety of names.
Cuprite is commonly found as an oxidation product of copper sulphides in the upper zones of veins, often associated with Native Copper, Malachite, Azurite, Limonite and Chalcocite. A fibrous form of Cuprite is known as Chalcotrichite.

Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Cuprite.


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Classification of CupriteHide

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)
4.AA.10

4 : OXIDES (Hydroxides, V[5,6] vanadates, arsenites, antimonites, bismuthites, sulfites, selenites, tellurites, iodates)
A : Metal: Oxygen = 2:1 and 1:1
A : Cation:Anion (M:O) = 2:1 (and 1.8:1)
Dana 7th ed.:
4.1.1.1
4.1.1.1

4 : SIMPLE OXIDES
1 : A2X
7.3.1

7 : Oxides and Hydroxides
3 : Oxides of Cu

Pronounciation of CupriteHide

Pronounciation:
PlayRecorded byCountry
Jolyon & Katya RalphUnited Kingdom

Physical Properties of CupriteHide

Adamantine, Sub-Metallic, Earthy
Transparency:
Transparent, Translucent
Colour:
Dark red to cochineal red, sometimes almost black.
Streak:
Shining metallic brownish-red.
Hardness:
3½ - 4 on Mohs scale
Hardness:
VHN100=183 - 222 kg/mm2 - Vickers
Hardness Data:
Measured
Tenacity:
Brittle
Cleavage:
Imperfect/Fair
Interrupted on {111}, more rarely on {001}.
Fracture:
Conchoidal
Density:
6.14 g/cm3 (Measured)    6.15 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of CupriteHide

Type:
Isotropic
RI values:
n = 2.849
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.000 - Isotropic minerals have no birefringence
Surface Relief:
Very High
Type:
Anisotropic
Anisotropism:
Anomalous
Colour in reflected light:
Bluish white
Internal Reflections:
Blood-red
Pleochroism:
Visible

Chemical Properties of CupriteHide

Formula:
Cu2O
CAS Registry number:
1317-39-1

CAS Registry numbers are published by the American Chemical Society

Crystallography of CupriteHide

Crystal System:
Isometric
Class (H-M):
m3m (4/m 3 2/m) - Hexoctahedral
Space Group:
Pn3m
Cell Parameters:
a = 4.2685 Å
Unit Cell V:
77.77 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:
2
Morphology:
Crystals octahedral or cubic, rarely dodecahedral, sometimes highly modified. In the variety chalcotrichite the crystals are greatly elongated [001] into capillary shapes.
Twinning:
Penetration twins common.

Crystallographic forms of CupriteHide

Crystal Atlas:
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Cuprite no.1 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Cuprite no.57 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Cuprite no.80 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

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Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
Powder Diffraction Data:
d-spacingIntensity
3.02(10)
2.47(100)
2.14(40)
1.51(30)
1.29(20)
1.23(10)
0.980(10)
0.955(10)

Synonyms of CupriteHide

Other Language Names for CupriteHide

Varieties of CupriteHide

ChalcotrichiteA variety of Cuprite consisting of thin fibrous sprays or mats of hair-like crystals.
Tile oreA brick-red massive variety of Cuprite, usually found with Malachite or other secondary copper minerals (eg. Atacamite)

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Copper926 photos of Cuprite associated with Copper on mindat.org.
Malachite784 photos of Cuprite associated with Malachite on mindat.org.
Chrysocolla233 photos of Cuprite associated with Chrysocolla on mindat.org.
Calcite120 photos of Cuprite associated with Calcite on mindat.org.
Azurite118 photos of Cuprite associated with Azurite on mindat.org.
Connellite105 photos of Cuprite associated with Connellite on mindat.org.
Quartz90 photos of Cuprite associated with Quartz on mindat.org.
Silver67 photos of Cuprite associated with Silver on mindat.org.
Cerussite58 photos of Cuprite associated with Cerussite on mindat.org.
Delafossite54 photos of Cuprite associated with Delafossite on mindat.org.

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

4.AA.05IceH2OHex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
4.AA.15ParamelaconiteCu1+2Cu2+2O3Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/amd

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

7.3.2TenoriteCuOMon. 2/m : B2/b
7.3.3ParamelaconiteCu1+2Cu2+2O3Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/amd
7.3.4SpertiniiteCu(OH)2Orth.
7.3.5CredneriteCuMnO2Mon. 2/m : B2/m
7.3.6DelafossiteCuFeO2Trig. 3m (3 2/m)
7.3.7CuprospinelCu2+Fe3+2O4Iso.

Other InformationHide

Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

Cuprite in petrologyHide

An essential component of rock names highlighted in red, an accessory component in rock names highlighted in green.

References for CupriteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Haidinger, W. (1845) Zweite Klasse: Geogenide. XI. Ordnung. Erze. III. Kupfererz. Cuprit.. in Handbuch der bestimmenden Mineralogie. Bei Braumüller and Seidel (Wien): 546-555.
Miers (1884) Phil. Magazine: 18: 127.
Bragg and Bragg (1915): 155.
Niggli (1922) Zs. Kr.: 57: 253.
Greenwood (1924) Phil. Mag.: 48: 654.
Neuburger (1931) Zs. Kr.: 77: 169.
Schroeder (1934) Centralblatt für Mineralogie: 353.
Palache, C., Berman, H., Frondel, C. (1944) The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana Yale University 1837-1892, Seventh edition, Volume I: 629-631.
Kirfel, A., Eichhorn, K. (1990) Accurate structure analysis with synchrotron radiation. The electron density in Al2O3 and Cu2O. Acta Crystallographica: A46: 271-284.
Gaines, R.V., Skinner, H.C.W., Foord, E.E., Mason, B., Rosenzweig, A., King, V.T. (1997) Dana's New Mineralogy: The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, 8th. edition: 204.
Lippmann, T., Schneider, J.R. (2000) Topological analyses of cuprite, Cu2O, using high-energy synchrotron-radiation data. Acta Crystallographica: A56: 575-584.

Internet Links for CupriteHide

Localities for CupriteHide

This 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.

Locality ListShow