This chrysocolla sphere has stunning, multicoloured, intricate swirling and mottling patterns in shades from bright powder blue to deeply saturated forest green. It has a quirky, slightly uneven surface due to the variation in hardness throughout the stone, though overall has a good polish and a glossy luster. Some holes have been filled in with reconstituted malachite and conglomerate pieces to finish the sphere, however this has been nicely done. This material is rarely seen in sphere form making this piece extra special, and it will be sent accompanied with a wooden sphere stand as photographed, ready to go on display.
Chrysocolla is a hydrous copper silicate – a member of a small group of copper-bearing gems that includes malachite, azurite, larimar, sunstone, tourmaline and turquoise - typically found as glassy botryoidal or rounded masses or bubbly crusts, jackstraw mats of tiny acicular crystals or tufts of fibrous crystals. The name was first used by Theophrastus in 315 B.C. and comes from the Greek chrysos, meaning "gold," and kolla, meaning "glue," referring to its use as a flux in soldering gold. Pure chrysocolla is opaque and is found in various shades of blue and green. It is often found with traces of copper, iron and manganese oxide, or mixed with other secondary copper minerals such as malachite, azurite, turquoise, opal or quartz. On its own, chrysocolla is very soft and fragile (with a hardness of only 2), but when mixed with these other minerals becomes harder (at 6.5 – 7), more durable and also shows unique patterns in a wide range of colours. Deposits are found in Chile, Israel, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Nevada and D.R. Congo.