Large Natural Congo Botryoidal Chrysocolla Specimen - 197mm, 567g
Locality - Kalukuluku, Congo Size – 197 x 103 x 52mm Weight – 567g
This chrysocolla specimen features brilliant, bright verdigris blue colour throughout with subtle, bubbly botryoidal formation, and there is some minor, deep green malachite showing through in areas. It is a sizeable piece with a nice, large display face and a sturdy but lightweight, 'woody' matrix.
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.