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Olive green to yellow or brown, gray-green, grayish white; light green in transmitted light.
Sub-Adamantine, Sub-Vitreous, Resinous, Silky, Pearly
Specific Gravity:
Crystal System:
Member of:
Originally named arseniksaures kupfererz by Martin Klaproth in 1786 in reference to the chemical composition. Named olivenerz by Abraham G. Werner in 1789 in allusion to its olive-green color. Robert Jameson changed the ending "erz" to "ite" in 1920. Synonyms include: "holzkupfererz" (Bournon, 1801) and "pharmacochalzite" (Hausmann, 1813).
Olivenite Group. Adamite-Olivenite Series. Libethenite-Olivenite Series.
The copper analogue of Adamite.

May be confused with Zincolivenite which is a chemically and structurally distinct species with a defined ratio of Zn:Cu.
Note: The designations 'Zincolivenite' or 'Zinc-olivenite' were also used for Zn-bearing olivenites with unspecified Zn:Cu ratios prior to the recognition and approval of zincolivenite as a distinct species.

A relatively common, thermodynamically very stable secondary copper mineral found in the oxidized zones of copper deposits containing arsenic-bearing phases, especially Tennantite, Enargite and others.

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Classification of OliveniteHide

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

B : Phosphates, etc., with additional anions, without H2O
B : With only medium-sized cations, (OH, etc.):RO4 about 1:1

6 : A2(XO4)Zq

20 : Arsenates (also arsenates with phosphate, but without other anions)
1 : Arsenates of Cu

Pronounciation of OliveniteHide

PlayRecorded byCountry
Jolyon & Katya RalphUnited Kingdom

Physical Properties of OliveniteHide

Sub-Adamantine, Sub-Vitreous, Resinous, Silky, Pearly
Translucent, Opaque
Pearly to silky when it is fibrous.
Olive green to yellow or brown, gray-green, grayish white; light green in transmitted light.
Straw yellow if fibrous.
Olive green to brown
Hardness Data:
Indistinct on {101} and {110}
Irregular/Uneven, Conchoidal
4.46 g/cm3 (Measured)    4.45 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of OliveniteHide

Biaxial (+/-)
RI values:
nα = 1.747 - 1.780 nβ = 1.788 - 1.820 nγ = 1.829 - 1.865
Measured: 80° to 90°, Calculated: 46° to 84°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.082 - 0.085
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Very High
strong r > v or r < v moderate
Optical Extinction:
In green and yellow.
Absorption Y > X, Z.

Chemical Properties of OliveniteHide

IMA Formula:
Common Impurities:

Crystallography of OliveniteHide

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
2/m - Prismatic
Space Group:
Cell Parameters:
a = 8.5844(3) Å, b = 8.2084(3) Å, c = 5.9258(2) Å
β = 90.130(3)°
a:b:c = 1.046 : 1 : 0.722
Unit Cell V:
417.56 ų
Crystals elongated [100]; also short prismatic to acicular [001]; tabular on {011}, {100}, or {001}, less common. Occurs as globular or reniform masses with a fibrous structure with the fibers straight and divergent, rarely irregular; curved lamellar; massive, granular to earthy; nodular.
On {010}

Crystallographic forms of OliveniteHide

Crystal Atlas:
Image Loading
Click on an icon to view
Olivenite no.9 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Olivenite no.19 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by

Edge Lines | Miller Indicies | Axes

Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation

X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

Image Loading

Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
Powder Diffraction Data:
5.91 (70)
4.82 (90)
4.19 (60)
2.98 (100)
2.65 (60)
2.47 (70)
2.39 (70)
Handbook of Mineralogy, v. 4

Type Occurrence of OliveniteHide

Geological Setting of Type Material:
Oxidized zone of a copper deposit

Synonyms of OliveniteHide

Other Language Names for OliveniteHide

Varieties of OliveniteHide

Cobaltoan Olivenite
LeucochalciteFibrous white variety of Olivenite.
Wood CopperA variety of Olivenite showing a massive, fibrous structure, resembling wood. cf. Wood Tin
Zincian OliveniteZinc-bearing olivenite compositionally falling short of the cation-ordered, intermediate member of the Adamite-Olivenite Series, Zincolivenite.

See also Adamite-Olivenite Series.

Relationship of Olivenite to other SpeciesHide

Member of:
Other Members of this group:
AdamiteZn2(AsO4)(OH)Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
AuriacusiteFe3+Cu2+(AsO4)OOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
EveiteMn2+2(AsO4)(OH)Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
LibetheniteCu2(PO4)(OH)Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
ZincolibetheniteCuZn(PO4)(OH)Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
ZincoliveniteCuZn(AsO4)(OH)Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
Forms a series with:

Common AssociatesHide

ScoroditeFe3+AsO4 · 2H2O
Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Azurite162 photos of Olivenite associated with Azurite on
Malachite129 photos of Olivenite associated with Malachite on
Cornwallite77 photos of Olivenite associated with Cornwallite on
Conichalcite72 photos of Olivenite associated with Conichalcite on
Quartz72 photos of Olivenite associated with Quartz on
Cornubite46 photos of Olivenite associated with Cornubite on
Clinoclase43 photos of Olivenite associated with Clinoclase on
Cuprian Adamite36 photos of Olivenite associated with Cuprian Adamite on
Baryte29 photos of Olivenite associated with Baryte on
Pharmacosiderite23 photos of Olivenite associated with Pharmacosiderite on

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

8.BB.XArsenowagneriteMg2(AsO4)FMon. 2/m : P21/b
8.BB.05AmblygoniteLiAl(PO4)FTric. 1 : P1
8.BB.05MontebrasiteLiAl(PO4)(OH)Tric. 1 : P1
8.BB.05TavoriteLiFe3+(PO4)(OH)Tric. 1 : P1
8.BB.10Triplite(Mn2+,Fe2+)2(PO4)(F,OH)Mon. 2/m
8.BB.10Zwieselite(Fe2+,Mn2+)2(PO4)FMon. 2/m : P21/b
8.BB.15SarkiniteMn2+2(AsO4)(OH)Mon. 2/m : P2/m
8.BB.15Triploidite(Mn2+,Fe2+)2(PO4)(OH)Mon. 2/m : P2/b
8.BB.15Wagnerite(Mg,Fe2+)2(PO4)FMon. 2/m : P21/b
8.BB.15Wolfeite(Fe2+,Mn2+)2(PO4)(OH)Mon. 2/m : P21/b
8.BB.15JoosteiteMn2+(Mn3+,Fe3+)(PO4)OMon. 2/m
8.BB.15HydroxylwagneriteMg2(PO4)(OH)Mon. 2/m : P21/b
8.BB.20HoltedahliteMg2(PO4)(OH)Trig. 3m : P3 1m
8.BB.20Satterlyite(Fe2+,Mg,Fe)12(PO4)5(PO3OH)(OH,O)6Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : P3 1m
8.BB.25AlthausiteMg4(PO4)2(OH,O)(F,☐)Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnma
8.BB.30AdamiteZn2(AsO4)(OH)Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
8.BB.30EveiteMn2+2(AsO4)(OH)Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
8.BB.30LibetheniteCu2(PO4)(OH)Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
8.BB.30ZincolibetheniteCuZn(PO4)(OH)Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
8.BB.30ZincoliveniteCuZn(AsO4)(OH)Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
8.BB.30AuriacusiteFe3+Cu2+(AsO4)OOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
8.BB.35ParadamiteZn2(AsO4)(OH)Tric. 1 : P1
8.BB.35TarbuttiteZn2(PO4)(OH)Tric. 1 : P1
8.BB.40BarbosaliteFe2+Fe3+2(PO4)2(OH)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
8.BB.40Lazulite(Mg,Fe2+)Al2(PO4)2(OH)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
8.BB.40ScorzaliteFe2+Al2(PO4)2(OH)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
8.BB.45TrolleiteAl4(PO4)3(OH)3Mon. 2/m : B2/b
8.BB.50NamibiteCu(BiO)2(VO4)(OH)Tric. 1 : P1
8.BB.70TuraniteCu5(VO4)2(OH)4Tric. 1 : P1
8.BB.80FingeriteCu11(VO4)6O2Tric. 1 : P1
8.BB.90ZinclipscombiteZnFe3+2(PO4)2(OH)2Tet. 4 2 2 : P43 21 2

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)Hide mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

20.1.3ClinoclaseCu3(AsO4)(OH)3Mon. 2/m : P21/b
20.1.4CornwalliteCu5(AsO4)2(OH)4Mon. 2/m : P21/b
20.1.5CornubiteCu5(AsO4)2(OH)4Tric. 1 : P1
20.1.6Chlorotile (of Frenzel)
20.1.7GeminiteCu(HAsO4) · H2OTric.
20.1.8EuchroiteCu2(AsO4)(OH) · 3H2OOrth. 2 2 2 : P21 21 21
20.1.9StrashimiriteCu8(AsO4)4(OH)4 · 5H2OMon.
20.1.10ArhbariteCu2Mg(AsO4)(OH)3Tric. 1 : P1
20.1.11LindackeriteCuCu4(AsO4)2(HAsO4)2 · 9H2OTric. 1 : P1
20.1.12ConichalciteCaCu(AsO4)(OH)Orth. 2 2 2 : P21 21 21
20.1.13LiroconiteCu2Al(AsO4)(OH)4 · 4H2OMon. 2/m
20.1.14CeruleiteCu2Al7(AsO4)4(OH)13 · 11.5H2OTric.
20.1.15ChenevixiteCu2Fe3+2(AsO4)2(OH)4Mon. 2/m : P21/m
20.1.16ArthuriteCuFe3+2(AsO4)2(OH)2 · 4H2OMon.

Fluorescence of OliveniteHide

Not fluorescent in UV

Other InformationHide

Soluble in acids and in ammonia.
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 OliveniteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Klaproth (1786) Schriften der Gesellschaft naturforschender Freunde in Berlin: 7: 160 (as Arseniksaures Kupfererz).
Werner (1789) Bergmaennusches Journal, Freiberg (Neues Bergmannische Journal): 382, 385 (as Olivenerz).
Kirwan, R. (1796) Elements of Mineralogy. Second edition: 2: 151 (as Olive Copper Ore).
Rashleigh, P. (1797) Specimens of British Minerals Selected from the Cabinet of Phillip Rashleigh. London. Part 1: pl. 11, figure 2; part 2 (1802): pl. 6 (as Olive-green Copper Ore).
Bournon (1801) Transactions of the Royal Philosophical Society, London: 177 (as Cuivre arseniaté en octaèdre aigus).
Hausmann, J.F.L. (1813) Handbuch der Mineralogie 3 volumes, Göttingen: 3: 1042 (as Pharmacochalzit).
Hausmann, J.F.L. (1813) Handbuch der Mineralogie 3 volumes, Göttingen: 3: 1045 (as Olivenkupfer).
Jameson, R. (1820) A System of Mineralogy, third edition, 3 volumes: 2: 335.
Leonhard, K.C. (1821) Handbuch der Oryktognosie. First edition: 283.
Thomson, T. (1836) Outlines of Mineralogy, Geology, and Mineral Analysis. 2 volumes, London: 1: 614.
Hermann (1844) Journal für praktische Chemie, Leipzig: 33: 291.
Damour (1845) Annales de chimie et de physique, Paris: 13: 412.
Hausmann, J.F.L. (1847) Handbuch der Mineralogie, Second edition. Göttingen:
vol. 2, in two parts: 1025 (as Pharmacolzit).
Dana, J.D. (1868) System of Mineralogy, 5th. Edition, New York: 564.
Hillebrand (1884) Proceedings of the Colorado Scientific Society: 1: 113.
Hillebrand and Washington (1888) American Journal of Science: 35: 298.
Dana, E.S. (1892) System of Mineralogy, 6th. Edition, New York: 785.
Goldschmidt, V. (1920) Atlas der Krystallformen. 9 volumes, atlas, and text: vol. 6: 90.
Larsen, E.S. (1921) The Microscopic Determination of the Nonopaque Minerals, First edition, USGS Bulletin 679: 116.
Biehl (1919) Dissertation, Münster.
Biehl (1925) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 62: 328.
Shannon, Earl V. (1926) “The Minerals of Idaho,” U.S. National Museum Bulletin 131: 425.
Winchell, A. (1933) Elements of Optical Mineralogy, part 2, ”Descriptions of Minerals,” third edition, 459 pp.: 132.
Strunz (1936) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 94: 60 (Olivenite Group).
Heritsch (1937) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 98: 351.
Heritsch (1938) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 99: 466.
Jarrell (1939) American Mineralogist: 24: 632.
Heritsch (1940) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 102: 1 (Olivenite Group).
Richmond (1940) American Mineralogist: 25: 453.
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.: 859-861.
Canadian Mineralogist (1995): 33: 885-888.
Acta Crystallographica: B33: 2628-2631.
Li, C., H. Yang, & R.T.Downs: Redeteriminaton of olivenite from an untwinned single-crystal: Acta Crystallographica E64, i60-i61 (2008)

Internet Links for OliveniteHide

Localities for OliveniteHide

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

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