Chrysocolla

Big Photo

USA
16.46 carats
© Palagems

The name Chrysocolla derives from Greek chrysos - gold and kolla - glue, referring to its use as a flux in soldering gold. The term was used from antiquity.

Pure chrysocolla is a soft and fragile material. Much of the chrysocolla used in jewellery consists of very attractive cabochons of green or blue chrysocolla impregnating either rock crystal or opal.

Chrysocolla is often found in a matrix of quartz, in which case the optical and physical properties may be closer to those of quartz.

Chrysocolla covered by druses of small sparkling quartz crystals is called "Drusy Chrysocolla" and is very popular for jewelry. It is found in Peru.

The rarest and best quality is chrysocolla chalcedony with turquoise-like colour, but harder and chemically more stable than turquise. It comes from several copper mines in Arizona, Mexico, Taiwan and Peru.

See also: Eilat Stone, a blue-green gem material from Israel that contains Chrysocolla.

Chrysocolla Gemstones by Colour

This table shows the variety of hues this gemstone can be found in. Click on a photo for more information.
 
 
 
 
 

Chrysocolla Gemstones by Size

This table shows distribution of Chrysocolla gemstone sizes that are listed on this site. This can give a good indication as to the general availability of this gemstone in different sizes.
Contributed photos
Lightest:0.42 cts
Heaviest:166.65 cts
Average:32.08 cts
Total photos:49
Do you have a larger Chrysocolla? Why not upload a photo?
0.42ct to 17.04ct17.04ct to 33.67ct33.67ct to 50.29ct50.29ct to 66.91ct66.91ct to 83.54ct83.54ct to 100.16ct100.16ct to 116.78ct116.78ct to 133.40ct133.40ct to 150.03ct150.03ct to 166.65ct
General Information
Other Names/Trade Names:
Chemical Formula
(Cu,Al)
 
2
H
 
2
Si
 
2
O
 
5
(OH)
 
4
· nH
 
2
O
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
More from other references
Photos of natural/un-cut material from mindat.org
Chrysocolla Treatments
These copper-containing minerals have blue-to-green color and occur together with other copper minerals, as well as in a disseminated form in chalcedony, opal, and quartz (Webster). Dyeing has been used to enhance the color and to make it resemble turquoise or other gemstones – Nassau (1984)
Physical Properties of Chrysocolla
Mohs Hardness2 to 4
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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Specific Gravity2.00 to 2.45+
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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TenacityBrittle
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
Cleavage QualityNone
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
FractureConchoidal
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Optical Properties of Chrysocolla
Refractive Index1.460 to 1.570
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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Optical CharacterBiaxial/-
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
Birefringence0.023 to 0.040
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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PleochroismAbsent
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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DispersionNone
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
Colour
Colour (General)Green to blue veins and patches
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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Causes of ColourBlue, Cu2+ in octahedral coordination
W. William Hanneman, Pragmatic Spectroscopy For Gemologists (2011)
TransparencyOpaque
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
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LustreVitreous,Waxy
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Fluorescence & other light emissions
Fluorescence (General)None
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
Crystallography of Chrysocolla
Crystal SystemMonoclinic
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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HabitCompact grape-like aggregates (botryoidal)
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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Geological Environment
Where found:Chrysocolla is a mineral of secondary origin occurring in the oxidized zones of copper deposits where it may be mixed with malachite or
turquoise
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
Inclusions in Chrysocolla
Common intergrown with chalcedony, malachite and others - Gemmological Tables, Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, 2004, p 12
Further Information
Mineral information:Chrysocolla information at mindat.org
Significant Gem Localities
Israel
 
  • Southern District (HaDarom District)
    • Eilat
      • Timna Valley
Gems, Sixth Edition, Michael O’Donoghue, 2006, p. 400
Peru
 
  • Arequipa Department
    • Caraveli Province
  • Ica Department
    • Pisco Umay
J.Hyrsl (2012) Gemstones of Peru, p. 50
  • Lima Department
USA
 
  • Arizona
    • Gila Co.
      • Globe-Miami District
        • Globe Hills District
          • Globe Hills
mindat.org
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