Friday, October 12, 2012

Chrysocolla : The Blue Green Copper Gemstone

Chrysocolla is one of the most beautiful gemstones found in jewelry and is a valuable décor accent. Due to its famous bluish green color, it is considered an attractive find in the world of minerals and gemstones. Though pleasing to the eye, most people know very little about Chrysocolla and its origins. Often confused as Turquoise, it is a silicate mineral usually formed through the oxidation of copper ores. Its distinctive and exquisite blue, blue-green and green color with streaks of white to blue green makes it a favorite ornamental stone often used in jewelry. The name Chrysocolla was first coined in 315 BCE by Theophrastus, a Greek philosopher and student of Aristotle. The term Chrysocolla is the combination of two Greek words -- chrysos meaning gold and kola meaning glue.

Chrysocolla Necklace
Featuring Stones from the Ray Mine in Arizona

Polished Chrysocolla
from the Bagdad Mine in Arizona

Chrysocolla is usually found near other secondary copper minerals.  High quality Chrysocolla is considered valuable due to its attractive color and ability to take an attractive polish.  It has a hardness of 2.5 – 3.5 out of 10 on Moh’s scale.
Since it is a secondary copper mineral and usually found in copper oxidation zones, it replaces other secondary minerals like quartz, malachite, limonite, cuprite and azurite. Although it is considered as a minor ore of copper, it is also one of the most prized gemstones and is often used as an ornament. Aside from its famous lush blue-green color, it can also form in blackish blue and brown colors, although the blue green color remains to be highly popular. Chrysocolla can be considered as one of the most attractive gemstones in the world of mineral and fossils due to its glassy appearance which makes it a fitting ornamental stone.

Since it forms in regions with high copper oxidation, it can be found in countries or locations with copper deposits. In Europe, Cornwall, England is noted to have high occurrence of Chrysocolla formations. In South America, Chile is a notable source location and in Africa, it can be found in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In the US, several states were identified to have significant occurrence of Chrysocolla formation. These states include Pennsylvania, Utah, New Mexico and the most notable source location in the US is Arizona.

Since the formation and composition of Chrysocolla itself is a wonder in the mineral and gemstone world, unless you’d purchase Chrysocolla jewelry, this is a gemstone that may not come along your way every day. Touchstone Gallery is fortunate to be able to showcase this outstanding gem and we’re inviting you to visit us and see the specimens of Chrysocolla up close and personal.