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Aurichalcite

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Formula:
(Zn,Cu)5(CO3)2(OH)6
Zn:Cu ratio is about 5:2, but may approach 2:1.
Colour:
Pale green, sky blue, or greenish blue; colourless to light shades of blue or green in transmitted light
Lustre:
Silky, Pearly
Hardness:
1 - 2
Specific Gravity:
3.96
Crystal System:
Monoclinic
Name:
A sage noted that the Aurichalcum (Latinized version of the Greek ορείχαλκος - "mountain copper") of the ancients was "cuivre de Corinthe", yellow copper or brass; in 1839, Th. Böttger named the mineral accordingly, in allusion to its copper and zinc content, the constituents of brass.
A secondary mineral in copper and zinc deposits, aurichalcite is typically found as blue or green crusts or mats of tiny acicular crystals, often as feathery, tufted, druzes; more rarely it is found as columnar crystal aggregates or crusts of either lamellar aggregates or as granular aggregates.


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Classification of AurichalciteHide

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)
5/C.01-110
5.BA.15

5 : CARBONATES (NITRATES)
B : Carbonates with additional anions, without H2O
A : With Cu, Co, Ni, Zn, Mg, Mn
Dana 7th ed.:
16.4.2.1
16a.4.2.1

16a : ANHYDROUS CARBONATES CONTAINING HYDROXYL OR HALOGEN
4 : (AB)5(XO3)2Zq
11.6.5

11 : Carbonates
6 : Carbonates of Zn and Cd

Pronounciation of AurichalciteHide

Pronounciation:
PlayRecorded byCountry
Jolyon & Katya RalphUnited Kingdom

Physical Properties of AurichalciteHide

Silky, Pearly
Transparency:
Transparent
Colour:
Pale green, sky blue, or greenish blue; colourless to light shades of blue or green in transmitted light
Streak:
Light blue
Hardness:
1 - 2 on Mohs scale
Hardness Data:
Measured
Tenacity:
Fragile
Cleavage:
Perfect
Perfect on {010} and {100}.
Parting:
None
Fracture:
Irregular/Uneven
Density:
3.96 g/cm3 (Measured)    3.93 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of AurichalciteHide

Type:
Biaxial (-)
RI values:
nα = 1.655 nβ = 1.740 nγ = 1.744
2V:
Measured: 1° to 4°, Calculated: 22°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.089
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
High
Dispersion:
relatively strong r < v
Pleochroism:
Weak
Comments:
X = Colourless
Y = Blue-green
Z = Blue-green

Chemical Properties of AurichalciteHide

Formula:
(Zn,Cu)5(CO3)2(OH)6

Zn:Cu ratio is about 5:2, but may approach 2:1.
IMA Formula:
(Zn,Cu2+)5(CO3)2(OH)6
Common Impurities:
Ca

Crystallography of AurichalciteHide

Crystal System:
Monoclinic
Class (H-M):
2/m - Prismatic
Space Group:
P21/m
Cell Parameters:
a = 13.82 Å, b = 6.419 Å, c = 5.29 Å
β = 101.04°
Ratio:
a:b:c = 2.153 : 1 : 0.824
Unit Cell V:
460.59 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:
2
Morphology:
Prismatic crystals elongated on [100], striated in {100} parallel to (001), (010), producing a fine grid-like appearance corresponding to cleavage planes or twinning directions. Delicate acicular or lath-like crystals; tufted, feathery, or plumose incrustations; columnar structure rare, granular.
Twinning:
Observed in X-ray studies.

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:
d-spacingIntensity
6.78 (100)
3.68 (70)
3.25 (30)
2.89 (40)
2.81 (30)
2.72 (40)
2.61 (80)
1.656 (40)

Type Occurrence of AurichalciteHide

Synonyms of AurichalciteHide

Other Language Names for AurichalciteHide

Common AssociatesHide

AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2
CupriteCu2O
HemimorphiteZn4Si2O7(OH)2 · H2O
HydrozinciteZn5(CO3)2(OH)6
Limonite(Fe,O,OH,H2O)
MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
Rosasite(Cu,Zn)2(CO3)(OH)2
SmithsoniteZnCO3
Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Hemimorphite272 photos of Aurichalcite associated with Hemimorphite on mindat.org.
Calcite207 photos of Aurichalcite associated with Calcite on mindat.org.
Smithsonite180 photos of Aurichalcite associated with Smithsonite on mindat.org.
Azurite93 photos of Aurichalcite associated with Azurite on mindat.org.
Rosasite84 photos of Aurichalcite associated with Rosasite on mindat.org.
Malachite83 photos of Aurichalcite associated with Malachite on mindat.org.
Quartz56 photos of Aurichalcite associated with Quartz on mindat.org.
Hydrozincite46 photos of Aurichalcite associated with Hydrozincite on mindat.org.
Cerussite30 photos of Aurichalcite associated with Cerussite on mindat.org.
Linarite24 photos of Aurichalcite associated with Linarite on mindat.org.

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

5.BA.05AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
5.BA.10GeorgeiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2 · 6H2OAmor.
5.BA.10Glaukosphaerite(Cu,Ni)2(CO3)(OH)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
5.BA.10Kolwezite(Cu,Co)2(CO3)(OH)2Tric.
5.BA.10MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
5.BA.10Mcguinnessite(Mg,Cu)2(CO3)(OH)2
5.BA.10NullaginiteNi2(CO3)(OH)2Mon.
5.BA.10PokrovskiteMg2(CO3)(OH)2Mon.
5.BA.10Rosasite(Cu,Zn)2(CO3)(OH)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
5.BA.10Zincrosasite(Zn,Cu)2(CO3)(OH)2Mon.
5.BA.10ChukanoviteFe2+2(CO3)(OH)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
5.BA.15HydrozinciteZn5(CO3)2(OH)6Mon. 2/m : B2/m
5.BA.20HoldawayiteMn6(CO3)2(OH)7(Cl,OH)Mon. 2/m : B2/m
5.BA.25DeferniteCa6(CO3)2-x(SiO4)x(OH)7(Cl,OH)1-2x (x<0.5)Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnma
5.BA.25UM1977-03-COSiO:CaClHCa10-11(CO3)7(SiO4)Cl1-2(OH)1-2Mon.
5.BA.30Loseyite(Mn2+,Zn,Mg)4Zn3(CO3)2(OH)10Mon. 2/m
5.BA.30Sclarite(Zn,Mg,Mn2+)4Zn3(CO3)2(OH)10Mon. 2/m : B2/b

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

11.6.1SmithsoniteZnCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
11.6.2HydrozinciteZn5(CO3)2(OH)6Mon. 2/m : B2/m
11.6.3Rosasite(Cu,Zn)2(CO3)(OH)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
11.6.4Zincrosasite(Zn,Cu)2(CO3)(OH)2Mon.
11.6.6Claraite(Cu,Zn)15(CO3)4(AsO4)2(SO4)(OH)14·7H2OTric.
11.6.7MinrecorditeCaZn(CO3)2Trig. 3 : R3
11.6.8Loseyite(Mn2+,Zn,Mg)4Zn3(CO3)2(OH)10Mon. 2/m
11.6.9Sclarite(Zn,Mg,Mn2+)4Zn3(CO3)2(OH)10Mon. 2/m : B2/b
11.6.10OtaviteCdCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m)

Fluorescence of AurichalciteHide

Other InformationHide

Notes:
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.
Industrial Uses:
A very minor ore of zinc and copper.

References for AurichalciteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Patrin (1788) Le Journal de physique et le radium, Paris: 33: 81 (as Calamine verdâtre).
Sage (1791) Le Journal de physique et le radium, Paris: 38: 155 (as Mine de Laiton de Pise en Toscane).
Böttger, T. (1839) Chemische Untersuchung des Aurichalcits, eines neuen Kupfererzes vom Altai. Annalen der Physik, Halle, Leipzig: 48: 495 (as Aurichalcit).
Delesse (1846) Annales de chimie et de physique, Paris: 18: 478 (as Buratite).
Glocker, E.F. (1847) Generum et specierum mineralien secundum ordines naturals digestorum synopsis. Halle: 230 (as Orichalcit).
Risse (1865) Verein der Rheinlande Corr.-Bl.: 22: 95 (as Messingblüthe).
Adam, M. (1869) Tableau minéralogique, Paris: 26 (as Messingite).
Belar (1889) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 17: 113.
Penfield (1891) American Journal of Science: 41: 106.
Collins (1892) Mineralogical Magazine: 10: 15.
Cesàro (1897) Mém. Soc. roy. sc. Belg.: 53: 1.
D'Achiardi (1897) Att. Soc. tosc.: 16: 3.
Heddle, M.F. (1901) The Mineralogy of Scotland. 2 volumes, Edinburgh: 1: 146.
Navarro (1908) Bol. Soc. espan. Hist. nat.: 117.
Lecroix (1909): 739.
Navarro (1911) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 49: 297.
Kato (1913) Journal of the Geological Society of Tokyo: 20: 9.
Ledoux (1917) Journal of the Washington Academy of Science: 7: 361.
Larsen, E.S. (1921) The Microscopic Determination of the Nonopaque Minerals, First edition, USGS Bulletin 679: 43.
Buttenbach (1924) Mém. Soc. roy. Sc. Liége [3]: 12: 3.
Pilipenko (1925) Min. Abs.: 2: 109.
Hintze, Carl (1929) Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1 [3A]: 3398.
Lauro (1938) Periodico de Mineralogia-Roma: 9: 105.
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: Halides, Nitrates, Borates, Carbonates, Sulfates, Phosphates, Arsenates, Tungstates, Molybdates, Etc. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged: 249-250.
Jambor, J. L. and Pouliot, G. (1965) X-ray crystallography of aurichalcite and hydrozincite. The Canadian Mineralogist: 8: 385-389.
The Canadian Mineralogist (1970) 8: 385-389.
Harding, M.M., Kariuki, B.M., Cernik, R., Cressey, G. (1994) The structure of aurichalcite, (Cu,Zn)5(OH)6(CO3)2, determined from a microcrystal. Acta Crystallographica B - Structural Science 50: 673-676.
Jambor, J.L. (1995) New mineral names. American Mineralogist: 80: 1076.
Gaines, R.V., Skinner, C.W.H., Foord, E.E., Mason, B. Rosenzweig, A. (1997) Dana's New Mineralogy: The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, 8th. edition: 494.
Gorniy Zhournal: 8: 266-271.
Acta Crystallographica: B50: 673-676.
Anthony, J.W., Bideaux, R.A., Bladh, K.W., Nichols, M.C. (2003) Handbook of Mineralogy, Volume V. Borates, Carbonates, Sulfates. Mineral Data Publishing, Tucson, AZ, 813pp.: 39.
Frost, Ray L.; Locke, Ashley; Reddy, B. Jagannadha; Hales, Matt C. (2008) Synthesis and vibrational spectroscopic characterization of nickel containing aurichalcite. Polyhedron 27(3), 1033-1040.
Giester, G., Rieck, B. (2014) Crystal structure refinement of aurichalcite, (Cu,Zn)5(CO3)2(OH)6, from the Lavrion Mining District, Greece. Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Abhandlungen: 191: 225-232.

Internet Links for AurichalciteHide

Localities for AurichalciteHide

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

Mineral and/or Locality  
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