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Covellite on Pyrite Matrix

The Mineral covellite




Covellite is a copper mineral that exhibits a unique iridescence, with strong metallic blue and sometimes purple colors. Iridescent Covellite is highly prized among collectors, especially when in rare crystallized form. Covellite is named after Niccolo Covelli, an Italian mineralogist who first discovered this mineral.
Chemical Formula CuS 
Composition Copper sulfide, sometimes with some iron
Variable Formula (Cu,Fe)S 
Color Dark metallic-blue to dark gray. Highly iridescent bright blue; sometimes also purple, red, and yellow.
Streak Dark gray to black
Hardness 1.5 - 2
Crystal System Hexagonal
3D Crystal Atlas
(Click for animated model) 
Crystal Forms
and Aggregates
Crystals, which are uncommon, are mostly in thin tabular hexagonal plates. They are usually bladed and doubly terminated. Most often platy, grainy, foliated, as coatings, in veins, and massive.
Transparency Opaque
Specific Gravity 4.6 - 4.8
Luster Metallic
Cleavage 1,1
Fracture Uneven
Tenacity Brittle but slighty sectile. Thin flakes are flexible but not elastic.
In Group Sulfides; Simple Sulfides
Striking Features Iridescent color and habits
Environment In hydrothermal replacement ore deposits and in skarns.
Rock Type Igneous, Sedimentary, Metamorphic
Popularity (1-4) 3
Prevalence (1-3) 2
Demand (1-3) 2


Covellite ON EBAY
OTHER NAMES
Blue Copper
Covelline
Indigo Copper



USES
Brightly colored Covellite is used as a collector's mineral. Covellite is a minor ore of copper in copper deposits.

NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES
Some of the finest Covellite, in thin platy crystal stacks, came from the Calabona Mine, Alghero, Sardinia, Italy. Colorful foliated crystals have come from the Bor District, Serbia. In the U.S., the locality of Butte, Silver Bow Co., Montana, is perhaps the best-known locality for this mineral. Covellite clusters over three feet in length have been recovered at the Leonard mine in Butte. Aesthetic masses and think platy crystals of Covellite have come from the Summitville District, Rio Grande Co., Colorado.

COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS
Chalcopyrite, Bornite, Pyrite, Chalcocite

DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS
Chalcopyrite and Bornite both can be confused with Covellite, but these both have a greater hardness. Their iridescence is also not usually as distinctively blue as Covellite.


covellite PHOTOS
 
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
 
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