Locality – Kibwe, Congo Size – 65 x 43 x 19mm Weight – 61g
This azurite specimen features saturated, deep azure blue tones, silky green malachite and earthy brown in a layered, 'sandwich' plate formation. There are some nice, subtly crystalline areas that sparkle gently in the light.
Azurite is an incredibly characteristic copper carbonate hydroxide mineral renowned for its rich, deep blue tones and impressive range of unique formations, of which over 100 have been described. It's most typical form is as opaque, tabular or prismatic crystals, and well formed, large crystals of azurite are considered some of the finest blue mineral specimens known. It is commonly associated with malachite, the two minerals often found intergrown in attractive multicoloured specimens, and occurs in weathered copper ore deposits. Azurite was named from the ancient Persian 'lazhward', meaning 'blue', and is less commonly known as 'chessylite' after the type locality at Chessy-Les Mines near Lyon, France.
Azurite in History
Azurite has been used for various different purposes for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians mined the mineral on the Sinai Peninsula and smelted it to produce copper and to use as a blue pigment in painting, and it was also a major source of blue pigment for many Medieval and Renaissance painters.
Bright light and heat can gradually reduce the intense blue colour in azurite specimens, so it is recommended that you store this mineral in cool, dark environments to preserve it in pristine condition. Care for your crystals well, and these natural treasures can last a lifetime (and more)!