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                           Mineral of the Month--July


                                              Hydrous Copper Carbonate


                                               Azurite Picfest!

                                              By Ken Casey

Chemistry & Science
Members' Gallery
Article Contributors
Photo & Graphics Credits
Suggested Reading
Invitation to Members
Past Minerals of the Month
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Inside these bright blue crystal hides...



...a wealth of copper!

(Top, left): Arizona Azurite, Photo by Isaias Casanova, IC Minerals 2006

(Top, right): Utah Azurite Rose,
Photo by Stan Celestian,
Glendale Community College 2006


     This month, we are paying a brief visit to coppery: Azurite.  The Arabs named it, and it has
been used a pigment for centuries.  Let's see why.



     Welcome to another Mineral Picfest! 

     This month, we are featuring Azurite, a hydrous copper carbonate.  It is also known as
Chessylite.  Found almost anywhere surface copper deposits are exposed to weathering, these
amazing deep blue pointed crystals grab our attention with their stunning color.  Enjoy!


Chemistry & Science

     Named for its deep blue color, Azurite can be found as a secondary mineral altering from
copper sulfide minerals.  Found in vugs as crystals, rosettes, or botryoidal masses, this month's
mineral may inhabit porous limonite matrix (as with the occurrence in Morenci, Arizona).

     It is used as a pigment and studied and displayed by collectors.  Some have mounted crystals
in jewelry, though I have not seen any examples to date.  It's limitations are its soft and brittle
nature, and its loss of color when exposed to heat.  Perhaps you might quest for a sample.

     As Azurite oxidizes, it is replaced by Malachite as a pseudomorph.  Many colorful  blue and
green mineral assemblages are a geological snapshot of this change.  Some collectors find the
combination brightens up their collection.

     It occurs all around the world.  Its occurrence is a good tool for prospecting, as its presence
is an indicator of copper sulfide minerals.  In fact, our club's local collecting area includes a locale
in our Maryland area at the abandoned Libertyville Copper Mines.

     A good reference site is:


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Azurite with Malachite,
Guichi Copper Mine, Anhui Province, China
Azurite with Malachite (closeup),
Guichi Copper Mine, Anhui Province, China


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Azurite with Malachite,
Guichi Copper Mine, Anhui Province, China
Azurite with Malachite (closeup),
Guichi Copper Mine, Anhui Province, China


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Azurite with cerussite and duftite,
Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Namibia


Azurite and Malachite on Tennantite with Quartz,
Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Namibia
(ex Bahmann Collection)


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New Cornelia Mine, Ajo, Arizona
(ex P. Harter Collection)


Azurite with Cerussite on Arsentsumebite, Malachite,
Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Namibia
Photos above courtesy of and by Isaias Casanova, IC Minerals 2006

Photos below courtesy of and by Stan Celestian, Glendale Community College 2006


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Azurite and Malachite, Concentric layers (botryoidal mass) Azurite rosettes with Malachite on Limonite,
Morenci Mine, Arizona


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Botryoidal Azurite,
Morenci Mine, Arizona
Azurite with Malachite,
Morenci, Arizona



The Mineral Azurite (Mineral Galleries)

Webmineral's "Azurite"




     Mainly, Azurite may be ground as a pigment and as a minor copper ore.  The ancient Greeks,
Arabs, Egyptians, and Persians have used it.  I will leave some links for you to explore.


Members' Gallery

Here is where DMS Members can add their Azurite photos to share with us.


Until Next Time

     We hope you have enjoyed our all too short visit to Azurite.  Please join us next month,
for another Picfest!
     Until then, stay safe, and happy collecting. hardhat2a.gif (5709 bytes)



Article Contributors

Photo & Graphics Credits

I would like to gratefully acknowledge the generous contributions of our fellow variscite
enthusiasts, collectors, authors, curators, professionals, and club members who made this
work possible. 

Stan Celestian, Earth Sciences Department, Glendale Community College, Glendale, Arizona

Isaias Casanova, IC Minerals

2006  All contributions to this article are covered under the copyright protection of this article
and by separate and several copyright protection(s), and are to be used for the sole purposes of
enjoying this scholarly article.  They are used gratefully with express written permission of the
authors, save for generally-accepted scholarly quotes, short in nature, deemed legal to reference
with the appropriate citation and credit.
  Reproduction of this article must be obtained by express
written permission of the author, Kenneth B. Casey, for his contributions, authoring, photos, and
graphics.  Use of all other credited materials requires permission of each contributor separately

Links and general contact information are included in the credits above, and throughout this article.
The advice offered herein are only suggestions; it is the reader's charge to use the information
contained herein responsibly.  DMS is not responsible for misuse or accidents caused from this
article. All opinions, theories, proofs, and views expressed within this article, and in others on this
website, do not necessarily reflect the views of the Delaware Mineralogical Society.

Suggested Reading




KEN.JPG (31503 bytes)

   About the Author:  Ken is current webmaster of the Delaware Mineralogical Society.  He has a diploma in Jewelry Repair, Fabrication & Stonesetting from the Bowman Technical School, Lancaster, PA, and worked as jeweler.  He has also studied geology at the University of Delaware.  And, he is currently a member of the Delaware Mineralogical Society and the Franklin-Ogdensburg Mineralogical Society.  E-mail:

Invitation to Members


Want to see your name in print?  Want to co-author, contribute, or author a whole Mineral of the Month article?  Well, this the forum for you!

And Members, if you have pictures, or a story you would like to share, please feel free to offer.  We'd like to post them for our mutual enjoyment.   Of course, you get full photo and author credit, and a chance to reach other collectors, hobbyists, and scientists.  We only ask that you check your facts, give credit where it is due, keep it wholesome for our Junior Members watching, and keep on topic regarding rockhounding.

You don't even have to be experienced in making a webpage.  We can work together to publish your story.  A handwritten short story with a Polaroid will do.  If you do fancier, a text document with a digital photo will suit, as well.   Sharing is the groundwork from which we can get your story out there.

Our club's webpages can reach any person surfing the net in the world, and even on the International Space Station, if they have a mind to view our website!

We are hoping for a possible tie-in to other informative programs upon which our fellow members might want to collaborate.  Contact any officer or board member with your suggestions.

Our next MOTM will be a surprise.  For 2006, we are waiting for your suggestions.  What mineral do you want to know more about?

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Most of the Mineral of the Month selections have come from most recent club fieldtrips and March Show Themes, and from inspriring world locales. thus far.  If you have a suggestion for a future Mineral of the Month, please e-mail me at:, or tell me at our next meeting.



Past Minerals of the Month
June 2006 Mineral of the Month: Pyromorphite
May 2006 Mineral of the Month: Tsavorite by Karissa Hendershot
April 2006 Mineral of the Month: Variscite
March 2006 Mineral of the Month: Petrified Wood, Part II
February 2006 Mineral of the Month: Petrified Wood, Part I
January 2006 Mineral of the Month: Strontianite by Karissa Hendershot
December Mineral of the Month: Clinozoisite
November Mineral of the Month: Bismuth
October Mineral of the Month: Wulfenite by Karissa Hendershot
September Mineral of the Month: Turquoise
August Mineral of the Month: Peridot
July Mineral of the Month: Ruby
June Mineral of the Month: Antarctic Fluorite
May Mineral of the Month: Dolomite, Part 2
April Mineral of the Month: Dolomite, Part 1
March Mineral of the Month: Calcite
February Mineral of the Month: Agate
January Mineral of the Month: Fluorite
December Mineral of the Month: Pyrite
November Mineral of the Month: Stilbite  
October Mineral of the Month: Celestite   

This page last updated:  February 19, 2011 10:14:44 AM




Next Meeting

April Program, Monday, April 8, 2013:

"Destruction of the Fossil Exposures in the Chesapeake Bay Area" presented by Dr. Lauck Ward

General Club Meeting:
April 8, 2013

We are meeting at
Greenbank Mill

Special Meetings:

*Show Committee Meeting, April or May, 2013

*New Home/Lapidary Committee, 2013

*Board Meeting,  April, 2013

Next Field Trips


Past Fieldtrips

Next Show
DMS March Show
March 1-2, 2014 at DelTech Stanton


Our 2013 Show Theme was:
"All That Glitters is as Good as Gold!"

March Show 2013 Report






Fossil Forum

"Dinny, the Dino"

"Belemnites are coming"


MOTM June also commemorates our 50th Show!

It's shiny, yellow, and is a symbol of 50 Years!Can you guess?


Collecting Adventure Stories:

"Sunny Brook Crick Goethite" by Joe Dunleavy