This mineral Aurichalcite which is in the carbonate form is a subsidiary mineral in the deposits of zinc and copper, where the ratio of copper to zinc is 4:5. Sometimes Aurichalcite sometimes partially encompasses red limonite, and is linked with bright colored minerals like Smithsonite, Azurite and malachite. Aurichalcite specimens are by all means ideal for “landscape”.
(Zn, Cu) 5 [(OH) 3|CO3] 2
Derivation Of Name
Aurichalcite got its name, perhaps from the oreichalchos (metals that appear in Greek writings) meaning “mountain copper”
Aurichalcite is naturally found in the oxidized region of the deposits of zinc and copper. Aurichalcite occurs along with rosaite, limonite, hemimorphite, smithsonite, azurite, malachite and hydrozincite. Since copper and zinc, which are the components of brass are present in Aurichalcite, it is regarded as an ore of brass obtained in nature. Even then it is not obtained in adequate amounts to manufacture brass in a large scale.
Just as crystalline minerals, the Aurichalcite mineral specimens are soft, possessing a hardness No. 2 on the Mohs scale, and their samples can most easily be broken. Therefore, it is less used in jewelry and more used by collectors of minerals.
The Aurichalcite mineral is mined from France, Chessy; Greece, Laurium; Matlock in England; the Leadhills in Scotland; Caldbeck Fells (Cumbria) as well as Derbyshire. Several European countries where they occur are Marittima Campiglia, Tuscany, Livorno Province in Italy, the Rohdenhaus Quarry and North Rhine-Westphalia.
Most of the varieties are made up of little needles that wear out and retain deposits of blue color crystals on any external surface. Since it is a delicate mineral, it is suggested that this variety needs careful handling, and at the same time, remember that washing in water surely damages them. There is no recorded information regarding health hazards about this mineral. Take care while managing sample of any mineral.
In the transmitted light, this mineral is light green, colorless to faded blue, sky blue, greenish blue and faded green.
Mohs scale hardness