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Colourless, light green, ...
From the Greek for "copper" and "azure-blue" in allusion to the composition and the property of its turning blue when exposed to moist air.
Soluble in H2O and very hygroscopic, altering to chalcanthite.

Chemically and structurally related to dravertite.

Classification of Chalcocyanite

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

7 : SULFATES (selenates, tellurates, chromates, molybdates, wolframates)
A : Sulfates (selenates, etc.) without additional anions, without H2O
B : With medium-sized cations

3 : AXO4

25 : Sulphates
2 : Sulphates of Cu and Ag

Physical Properties of Chalcocyanite

Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent, Translucent
Colourless, light green, brownish, yellowish, sky-blue; colourless in transitted light
Hardness (Mohs):
3.65(5) g/cm3 (Measured)    3.89 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of Chalcocyanite

Biaxial (-)
RI values:
nα = 1.724(3) nβ = 1.733(3) nγ = 1.739(3)
Measured: 70° , Calculated: 78°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.015
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
r > v medium
2V (measured) is large

Chemical Properties of Chalcocyanite

Elements listed in formula:
Analytical Data:
Very hygroscopic. Readily soluble in water.

Crystallography of Chalcocyanite

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Cell Parameters:
a = 6.709(1) Å, b = 8.409(1) Å, c = 4.833(1) Å
a:b:c = 0.798 : 1 : 0.575
Unit Cell Volume:
V 272.66 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Crystals frequently tabular {010} and slightly elongated [001].

Crystallographic forms of Chalcocyanite

Crystal Atlas:
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Chalcocyanite no.1 - 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

Occurrences of Chalcocyanite

Type Occurrence of Chalcocyanite

General Appearance of Type Material:
Geological Setting of Type Material:
Active volcanic fumaroles.
Associated Minerals at Type Locality:

Relationship of Chalcocyanite to other Species

25.2.2BonattiteCuSO4 · 3H2O
25.2.3ChalcanthiteCuSO4 · 5H2O
25.2.4BoothiteCuSO4 · 7H2O
25.2.8PosnjakiteCu4SO4(OH)6 · H2O
25.2.9LangiteCu4SO4(OH)6 · 2H2O
25.2.10WroewolfeiteCu4SO4(OH)6 · 2H2O
25.2.11KröhnkiteNa2Cu(SO4)2 · 2H2O
25.2.12NatrochalciteNaCu2(SO4)2(OH) · H2O
25.2.13PiypiteK4Cu4O2(SO4)4 · (Na,Cu)Cl
25.2.15CyanochroiteK2Cu(SO4)2 · 6H2O
25.2.17DevillineCaCu4(SO4)2(OH)6 · 3H2O
25.2.18LeightoniteK2Ca2Cu(SO4)4 · 2H2O
25.2.19ChalcoalumiteCuAl4SO4(OH)12 · 3H2O
25.2.20CyanotrichiteCu4Al2SO4(OH)12 · 2H2O
25.2.21Woodwardite(Cu,Al)9(SO4)2(OH)18 · nH2O
25.2.22CampigliaiteCu4Mn2+(SO4)2(OH)6 · 4H2O
25.2.23GuilditeCuFe3+(SO4)2(OH) · 4H2O
25.2.24RansomiteCuFe23+(SO4)4 · 6H2O
25.2.27PoiteviniteCuSO4 · H2O

Other Names for Chalcocyanite

Other Information

Other Information:
Extremely hygroscopic. Readily soluble in water. Turns blue on exposure and may crumble to a powder of chalcanthite.
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 Chalcocyanite

Reference List:
Scacchi (1873) Reale accademia delle scienze fisische e matematiche, Att., Naples: 5: 26 (as Idrociano).

Dana, E.S. (1892) System of Mineralogy, 6th. Edition, New York: 912.

Posnjak and Tunell (1929) American Journal of Science: 18: 27.

Zambonini, Ferruccio (1935) Mineralogia Vesuviana, second edition with Quercigh, 463 pp., Naples: 158.

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: 429-430.

Wildner, M. and Giester, G. (1988) Crystal structure refinements of synthetic chalcocyanite (CuSO4) and zincosite (ZnSO4). Mineralogy and Petrology: 39: 201-209.

Anthony, J.W., Bideaux, R.A., Bladh, K.W., and Nichols, M.C. (2003) Handbook of Mineralogy, Volume V. Borates, Carbonates, Sulfates. Mineral Data Publishing, Tucson, AZ, 813pp.: 129.

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

Localities for Chalcocyanite

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.
  • Plovdiv Oblast
    • Plovdiv
Atanassova, R. & Kerestedjian, T. (2009): Efflorescent minerals from the metallurgical waste heaps of the KCM non-ferrous metal smelter, Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Petrology, 47, 51-63.
Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaïre)
  • Katanga (Shaba)
    • Katanga Copper Crescent
      • Katanga
Johari, Umba Kyamitala
    • Lake Mweru
Haest, M., Muchez, P., Dewaele, S., Boyce, A.J., von Quadt, A., and Schneider, J. (2009): Mineralium Deposita 44, 505-522.
El Salvador
  • Sonsonate Department
Anthony, J. W. et al. (1997): Handbook of Mineralogy, Vol. 3, 36
  • Thuringia
    • Gera
      • Ronneburg U deposit
T. Witzke & F. Rüger: Lapis 1998(7/8), 26-64
  • Java (Jawa)
    • Yogyakarta Province
      • Gunung Merapi volcano (Mt Merapi)
Symonds, R. (1993): Scanning electron microscope observations of Merapi Volcano, Indonesia. Geochemical Journal: 26: 337-350
Italy (TL)
  • Campania
    • Naples Province
      • Somma-Vesuvius Complex
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: 429, 552, 571.
  • Far-Eastern Region
    • Kamchatka Oblast'
      • Tolbachik volcano
Pekov, I. (1998) Minerals First discovered on the territory of the former Soviet Union 369p. Ocean Pictures, Moscow
          • Northern Breakthrough (North Breach)
Pekov, I. (1998) Minerals First discovered on the territory of the former Soviet Union 369p. Ocean Pictures, Moscow
            • Second scoria cone
Pekov, I.V., Zubkova, N.V., Yapaskurt, V.O., Lykova, I.S., Belakovskiy, D.I., Vigasina, M.F., Sidorov, E.G., Britvin, S.N., Pushscharovsky, D.Yu. (2015): New zinc and potassium chlorides from fumaroles of the Tolbachik volcano, Kamchatka, Russia: mineral data and crystal chemistry. I. Mellizinkalite, K3Zn2Cl7. European Journal of Mineralogy, 27, 247-253.
Bykova E Y, Berlepsch P, Kartashov P M, Brugger J, Armbruster T, Criddle A J (1998) Vergasovaite Cu3O[(Mo,S)O4][SO4], a new copper-oxy-molybdate-sulfate from Kamchatka, Schweizerische Mineralogische und Petrographische Mitteilungen, 78, 479-488
Belakovskiy, D.I., Chukanov, N.V., Lykova, I.S., Savelyev, D.P., Sidorov, E.G., Pushcharovsky, D.Yu. (2014): Wulffite, K3NaCu4O2(SO4)4, and parawulffite, K5Na3Cu8O4(SO4)8, two new minerals from fumarole sublimates of the Tolbachik Volcano, Kamchatka, Russia. Canadian Mineralogist: 52: 699-716
  • Urals Region
    • Southern Urals
      • Chelyabinsk Oblast'
Cesnokov, B., Kotrly, M. and Nisanbajev, T. (1998): Brennende Abraumhalden und Aufschlüsse im Tscheljabinsker Kohlenbecken - eine reiche Mineralienküche. Mineralien-Welt, 9 (3), 54-63 (in German).
  • Nevada
    • White Pine Co.
NBMG Spec. Pub. 31 Minerals of Nevada
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