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Charles Frédéric Gerhardt
Emerald Green
Named in 1885 by Horace L. Wells and Samuel Lewis Penfield in honor of Charles Frédéric Gerhardt [August 21, 1816 Strassburg Germany - August 19, 1856 Strasbourg, Germany], who first prepared the artificial compound, in addition to many other achievements. Gerhardt studied organic chemistry under Justus von Liebig and Jean Baptiste Dumas. Gerhardt also worked with Auguste Cahours and Michel Eugène Chevreul in Paris. Gerhard proposed some important changes in chemical formula notation that were controversial in the time period. After several laboratory assignments and private work as a scientific book translator (primarily of Liebig's works), Gerhardt became professor at University of Montpellier in Montpellier, France in 1844-1851. In 1854, Gerhard became professor of chemistry in the École Polytechnique at Strassburg. Gerhardt wrote the important four volume book, Traité de chimie organique, but did not live to see its publication as he died from accidentally being poisoned by one of his experiments.
Dimorph of:
An uncommon secondary copper nitrate.

Easy to confuse with its dimorph rouaite (both have very similar X-ray powder diffraction patterns).

Classification of Gerhardtite

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)

B : With OH
Dana 7th ed.:

1 : Anhydrous Nitrates Containing Hydroxyl or Halogen

13 : Nitrates

Physical Properties of Gerhardtite

Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Emerald Green
Light green
Hardness (Mohs):
On {001} perfect; on {100} good.
3.4 - 3.43 g/cm3 (Measured)    3.389 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of Gerhardtite

Biaxial (+)
RI values:
nα = 1.703 nβ = 1.713 nγ = 1.722
Measured: 85° , Calculated: 86°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.019
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
r < v very strong
X = Green
Y = Green
Z = Blue

Chemical Properties of Gerhardtite

IMA Formula:
Elements listed in formula:

Crystallography of Gerhardtite

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
2 2 2 - Disphenoidal
Space Group:
P21 21 21
Cell Parameters:
a = 6.087(2) Å, b = 13.813(4) Å, c = 5.597(2) Å
a:b:c = 0.441 : 1 : 0.405
Unit Cell Volume:
V 470.59 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Crystals thick tabular {001}. Strongly striated on the pyramid zone. Faces often in oscillatory combination. Crystals flexible, with separation along {100}.

Occurrences of Gerhardtite

Type Occurrence of Gerhardtite

Place of Conservation of Type Material:
Yale University

Relationship of Gerhardtite to other Species

Common Associates:
13.4NitromagnesiteMg(NO3)2 · 6H2O
13.5NitrocalciteCa(NO3)2 · 4H2O
13.7ButtgenbachiteCu19(NO3)2(OH)32Cl4 · 2H2O
13.8SveiteKAl7(NO3)4(OH)16Cl2 · 8H2O
13.9DarapskiteNa3(SO4)(NO3) · H2O
13.10HumberstoniteNa7K3Mg2(SO4)6(NO3)2 · 6H2O
13.11Mbobomkulite(Ni,Cu)Al4((NO3)2,SO4)(OH)12 · 3H2O
13.12Hydrombobomkulite(Ni,Cu)Al4((NO3)2,SO4)(OH)12 · 13-14H2O
13.13Nickelalumite(Ni,Cu)Al4(SO4,(NO3)2)(OH)12 · 3H2O

Other Names for Gerhardtite

Name in Other Languages:

Other Information

Other Information:
Insoluble in water. Soluble in dilute 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 Gerhardtite

Reference List:
Wells and Penfield (1885) American Journal of Science: 30: 50.

Lindgren and Hillebrand (1904) American Journal of Science: 18: 448.

Thoreau (1923) Société géologique de Belgique, Liége, Annales: 46: B 285.

Larsen, E.S. and Berman, H. (1934) The Microscopic Determination of the Nonopaque Minerals, Second edition, USGS Bulletin 848: 129, 190.

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: 308-309.

Kohler, K. (1955): Röntgenographische Untersuchungen an Gerhardtit. Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Kristallgeometrie, Kristallphysik, Kristallchemie 106, 474-475.

Oswald, H. R. (1961): Über natürlichen und künstlichen Gerhardtit. Zeitschrift für Kristallographie 116, 210-219 (in German with English abstract).

Helv. Chim. Acta: 35: 375-390.

Bovio, B. & Locchi, S. (1982): Crystal structure of the orthorhombic basic copper nitrate, Cu2(OH)3NO3. J. Cryst. Spectr. Res. 12, 507-517.

Tanaka, H.; Terada, S. (1993): Preparation and thermal decomposition of synthetic gerhardtite copper hydroxide nitrate (Cu2(OH)3NO3). Journal of Thermal Analysis 39, 1011-1018.

MELCHIORRE, E.B., WILLIAMS, P.A., ROSE, T.P. & TALYN, B.C. (2006): Biogenic nitrogen from termite mounds and the origin of gerhardtite at the Great Australia mine, Cloncurry, Queensland, Australia. Canadian Mineralogist, 44, 1447-1455.

Samie, Farid; Tidblad, Johan; Kucera, Vladimir; Leygraf, Christofer (2007): Atmospheric corrosion effects of HNO3. Influence of temperature and relative humidity on laboratory-exposed copper. Atmospheric Environment 41, 1374-1382.

C. H. Yoder, E. Bushong, X. Liu, V. Weidner, P. McWilliams, K. Martin, J. Lorgunpai, J. Haller and R. W. Schaeffer (2010): The synthesis and solubility of the copper hydroxyl nitrates, gerhardtite, rouaite and likasite. Mineral. Mag. 74, 433-440.

Internet Links for Gerhardtite URL:
Please feel free to link to this page.

Localities for Gerhardtite

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.
(TL) indicates type locality for a valid mineral species. (FRL) indicates first recorded locality for everything else. ? indicates mineral may be doubtful at this locality. All other localities listed without reference should be considered as uncertain and unproven until references can be found.
  • Queensland
    • Cloncurry Shire
      • Cloncurry
Wallace, M. E. & Pring, A. (1990): Gerhardtite, a copper hydroxy-nitrate from the Great Australia mine, Cloncurry, Queensland. Australian Mineral. 5, 51-54.
  • Atacama Region
    • Copiapó Province
      • Quebrada San Miguel
Terry Szenics
  • Tarapacá Region
    • El Tamarugal Province
      • Collahuasi District
Sulphides analysed by geology dep. of company; sulphates, phosphates, analysed by Bob Jenkins (Usa) 2007
Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaïre)
  • Katanga (Shaba)
    • Katanga Copper Crescent
      • Likasi (Jadotville; Jadotstad)
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: 309.
      • Luambo
Oswald, H.R. (1961): Über natürlichen und künstlichen Gerhardtit. Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, 116, 210-219.
  • Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
    • Alpes-Maritimes
      • Guillaumes
        • Daluis
Riviéra Scientifique:85:3-12, 2001 (15 Oct 2001), Sarp, et al.
  • Baden-Württemberg
    • Black Forest
      • Wolfach
        • Oberwolfach
          • Rankach valley
U. Kolitsch, J. Gröbner, F. Brandstätter and R. Bayerl (2010): Neufunde aus der Grube Clara im mittleren Schwarzwald (IV): Calcioandyrobertsit, Cotunnit, Gerhardtit, Khaidarkanit, Lukrahnit, Mckinstryit, Moolooit, Rhabdophan-(La), Rouait und Uricit. Lapis 35 (9), 22-27; 62 (in German).
  • North Rhine-Westphalia
    • Sauerland
      • Meschede
        • Ramsbeck
S. Weiß: "Mineralfundstellen, Deutschland West", Weise (Munich), 1990
    • Siegerland
      • Burbach
  • Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén Co.
    • Rudabányai Mts
Collector:Koller G.-Analysed by Szakáll S.-2010
  • Tuscany
    • Livorno Province
      • Campigliese (Campiglia Mountains; Campiglia Ridge)
        • Campiglia Marittima
Luigi Chiappino
      • Piombino
Franzini & Perchiazzi, 1992. I minerali delle scorie ferrifere di Baratti (Livorno). Atti Soc. Tosc. Sci. Nat., Mem., Serie A: 43-77
  • Karagandy Province (Qaragandy Oblysy; Karaganda Oblast')
    • Dzhezkazgan (Zhezqazghan)
Voloshin, A. V., Pakhomovskiy, Ya. A., Stepanov, V. I., Bulgak, L. V. and Men-shikov, Yu. P. (1988): Gerhardtite, likasite, and spertiniite from the oxidation zone of Dzhezkazgan chalcosite ores; first finds in the USSR. Novye Dannye o Mineralakh SSSR, 35, 40-47. (in Russian) ; Evseev, A. A. (1995) Kazaknstan and Middle Asia. A brief Mineralogical Guide. World of Stone 8:24-30
  • Drâa-Tafilalet Region
    • Ouarzazate Province
      • Djebel Saghro (Jbel Saghro)
        • Bou Skour district
Georges FAVREAU collection
  • Andalusia
    • Almería
      • Huércal-Overa
        • Cuesta Alta
          • Cerro Minado Mines
VIÑALS, J., FAVREAU, G., and EYTIER C. & J.-R. (2010): Bobkingite, capgaronnite, juanitaite, gerhardtite, reevesite and other rare minerals from Cerro Minado, Huercal-Overa (Almería). Mineral Up, 4, 3, 6-23 Versions simultaneously published in Catalan (Mineralogistes de Catalunya); in Spanish version (Revista de Minerales).
  • Crimea Oblast'
    • Crimea peninsula
      • Pereval'noye Village area
Geologiya SSSR (The geology of USSR) (1969) - Nedra (Moscou), 1969, vol. VIII, 575 p.
  • Arizona
    • Greenlee Co.
      • Gila Hot Springs District
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: 309; Anthony, J.W., et al (1995), Mineralogy of Arizona, 3rd.ed.: 230; Lindgren, W. & W.F. Hillebrand (1904), Minerals from the Clifton-Morenci district, AZ, Amer.Jour.Sci.: 18: 448-460; Lindgren, W. (1905), The copper deposits of the Clifton-Morenci district, AZ, USGS PP 43; Guild, F.N. (1905), The petrography of the Tucson Mountains, Amer.Jour.Sci.: 20: 313; Galbraith, F.W. & D.J. Brennan (1959), Minerals of AZ: 56.
      • Shannon Mts
Anthony, J.W., et al (1995), Mineralogy of Arizona, 3rd.ed.: 230.
Merritt Stephen Enders (2000) The Evolution of Supergene Enrichment in the Morenci Porphyry Copper Deposit, Greenlee County, Arizona. PhD Thesis, University of Arizona
    • Maricopa Co.
      • Big Horn Mts
        • Osborn District
          • Tonopah
            • Belmont Mountain
Raman analyzed at the University of Arizona.
    • Pima Co.
      • Sierrita Mts
        • Pima District (Olive District; Mineral Hill District; Twin Buttes District)
          • San Xavier
            • Mission complex
              • Mineral Hill
                • Mineral Hill Mines (Azurite group; Old Azurite Mine; Copper Glance Mine)
Anthony, J.W., et al (1995), Mineralogy of Arizona, 3rd.ed.: 183, 230, 336; Williams, S.A. (1961), Gerhardtite from the Daisy shaft, Mineral Hill mine, Pima Co., AZ, AZ Geol. Soc. Digest: 4: 123.
    • Yavapai Co.
      • Black Hills (Black Hill Range)
        • Verde District
          • Jerome
Wells, H.L. & S.L. Penfield (1885), Gerhardtite and artificial cupric nitrates, American Journal of Science: 30: 50-57; Dana 6: 1094; 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: 309; Anthony, J.W., et al (1995), Mineralogy of Arizona, 3rd.ed.: 230-231; Galbraith, F.W. & Brennan (1959), Minerals of AZ: 56.
  • Michigan
    • Ontonagon Co.
In the collection of Brent Thorne.
      • Mass City
Ref.: Rocks & Min.: 58:112; 63:494; 65:240-243.
  • Utah
    • San Juan Co.
      • White Canyon District
        • Red Canyon
Journal of Geosciences, 60 (2015), 1–10; Kampf, A.R., Kasatkin, A.V., Čejka, J., Marty, J. (2015): Plášilite, Na(UO2)(SO4)(OH)•2H2O, a new uranyl sulfate mineral from the Blue Lizard mine, San Juan County, Utah, USA. Journal of Geosciences. 60, 1-10
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