Chrysocolla from Nevada, USA
|Color||Blue, blue-green, green|
|Crystal habit||Massive, nodular, botryoidal|
|Fracture||Brittle to sectile|
|Mohs scale hardness||2.5 - 3.5|
|Luster||Vitreous to dull|
|Streak||white to a blue-green color|
|Diaphaneity||Translucent to opaque|
|Specific gravity||1.9 - 2.4|
|Optical properties||Uniaxial (+)|
|Refractive index||nω = 1.460 nε = 1.570|
Chrysocolla (hydrated copper silicate) is a mineral, (Cu,Al)2H2Si2O5(OH)4·nH2O. It is of secondary origin and forms in the oxidation zones of copper ore bodies. Associated minerals are quartz, limonite, azurite, malachite, cuprite, and other secondary copper minerals.
Chrysocolla has an attractive blue-green colour and is a minor ore of copper, having a hardness of 2.5 to 3.5. It is also used as an ornamental stone. It is typically found as glassy botryoidal or rounded masses and crusts, or vein fillings. Because of its light color, it is sometimes confused with turquoise. Commonly it occurs only as pourous crusts unsuitable for gem use, but high quality, gem grade chrysocolla can be translucent and is highly prized.
The name comes from the Greek chrysos, "gold", and kolla, "glue", in allusion to the name of the material used to solder gold, and was first used by Theophrastus in 315 BCE.