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16.21: Azurite

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    Chemical composition Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2
    Crystal system Monoclinic
    Habit Short columlar, botryoidal
    Cleavage Indistinct
    Fracture Conchoidal, uneven, brittle
    Hardness 3 1/2 - 4
    Optic nature Biaxial +
    Refractive index 1.720-1.848
    Birefringence 0.108-0.110
    Specific gravity 3.7-3.9
    Lustre Vitreous
    Pleochroism Light blue, dark blue


    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): Botryoidal Azurite
    Bisbee, Arizona

    Azurite forms directly from the oxidation of copper ore. Azurite (blue) and malachite (green) are often found together because azurite tends to alter into malachite. Because of azurite's intense blue color, it was once used as a pigment for oil paints. Unfortunately, time has caused those originally blue skies and bodies of water to go decidedly green. In ancient Egypt, azurite paint was used by temple priests to paint and decorate the Third Eye on their foreheads believing that it increased their powers. The ancient Chinese revered azurite as the Stone of Heaven, able to open spiritual doorways.


    • dark blue almost black crystals have come from Tsumbed (Namibia) and Morocco
    • Australia (Queensland), Chile, Mexico, Russia (Ural) and United States (Arizona, New Mexico)


    • Gemstones of the world - Walter Schumann

    This page titled 16.21: Azurite is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 2.5 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by gemology via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

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