The Mineral Atacamite
atacamite picture

atacamite picture

The mineral Atacamite is a compound of halogens with copper. In 1801, Atacamite was initially identified by deposits found in the Atacama Deserts of China.

The Atacamite mineral occurs in many forms containing clinoatacamite, botallackite and paratacamite. When compared to other minerals Atacamite is an exceptional one obtained from the basic copper minerals in the weathering or oxidation zones in dry climates. Besides, Atacamite is considered as a volcanic sublimate obtained as a modified product of sulfide from the deposits of fumaroles*, black smokers and as a modification of the aged copper artifacts’ and bronze.

Chemical Formula

Cu2Cl (OH) 3.

Derivation Of Name

The name Atacamite has reference to the location where it was first discovered, which is the Atacama Desert in Chile.

Occurrence

It is in places where copper minerals are open to the atmosphere for oxidation in dry climates, that Atacamite is formed. The color of Atacamite is dark green, frequently associated with the other exceptional minerals of various colors like brochanite, chyrsocolla, connellite, linarite, pseudomalachite, libethenite, malachite, caledonite, Cuprite and content. A few of this specimen are extremely attractive, with an assortment of colors such as green, blue and a hue of red.

Gemology

atacamite picture

atacamite picture

Atacamite is linked with many stones. Chrysocolla, Azurite, mixtures of Malachite……. and you can see these minerals interlace inside the stone. Several specimens of Atacamite are found to have more copper as a base, mostly in green color, even though there are certain blue portions inside the stone.

Source

In the world there are certain other places where lumps of this material are obtained. They are:

  • Wallaroo, Australia

  • Mt. Vesuvius, Italy

  • UK

  • Namibia

  • Lily Mine, Peru

  • Mexico

  • Pinal County, Arizona, United States

Mineralogy

Several spots inside these stones resemble Chrysocolla to a great extent, which is a mineral inside Atacamite. It is on account of the excess energy of Chrysocolla that it is believed to possess the powerful energy of the heart chakra and aids, powerful spiritual vibrations; apart from which they have other uses as well.

Color

Blackish to dark emerald-green and Bright green.

Mohs scale hardness

3 - 3.5

Density 

3.756 g/cm3

Note:

*Fumaroles are openings on the Earth’s surface near volcanos that emit steam and different gases like Sulfur Dioxide, Carbon Dioxide, Hydrogen Sulfide and Hydrogen Chloride.







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