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Cyanotrichite Cavity

The Mineral cyanotrichite




Cyanotrichite is an attractive blue mineral with very characteristic radiating needle aggregates. It is a fragile mineral, and handling should be avoided, for even a slight touch can damage a crystal grouping. Cyanotrichite crystals will rub off and leave a blue residue of tiny crystals on a surface if handled.

The name of Cyanotrichite is derived from the Greek terms "kyanos", or blue, and "triches", meaning hair, in reference to its hair-like habits of blue crystals.
Chemical Formula Cu4Al2SO4(OH)12 · 2H2O
Composition Basic hydrous copper aluminum sulfate
Color Bright blue
Streak Light blue
Hardness 1 - 3
Crystal System Orthorhombic
Crystal Forms
and Aggregates
As scattered groups of radiating or acicular crystals. Also in ball-like aggregates of tiny, slender crystals, as plush, wool-like needle groupings, as crusty groupings of tiny needles, and in botryoidal crystal groups.
Transparency Translucent
Specific Gravity 2.7 - 2.8
Luster Silky
Cleavage None
Fracture Splintery
Tenacity Brittle
In Group Sulfates; Hydrous Sulfates
Striking Features Crystal aggregates and bright blue color
Environment As a secondary mineral found in the oxidation zone of copper deposits.
Rock Type Sedimentary, Metamorphic
Popularity (1-4) 3
Prevalence (1-3) 3
Demand (1-3) 3


Cyanotrichite AUCTIONS
OTHER NAMES
Lettsomite
Velvet Copper Ore

VARIETIES
 -  A carbonate-rich variety of Cyanotrichite, where the sulfate radical (SO4) is partially replaced by a carbonate radical (CO2). Its chemical formula is Cu4Al2(CO3,SO4)(OH)12 · 2H2O. Carbonatecyanotrichite is technically not really a variety since it is scientifically recognized as as a distinct mineral species, though it is identical to Cyanotrichite and virtually indistinguishable.


USES
Cyanotrichite is an uncommon copper mineral, and is a very minor copper ore. It is popular as a micromount mineral.

NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES
European localities for Cyanotrichite include Cap Garonne and Salsigne, France; Wheal Basset, Cornwall, England; and Lavrion, Greece. One of the best producers of this mineral is in the Vieja Mine in Potrerillos, Chanaral Province, Chile. Good Cyanotrichite also comes from Qinglong, Guizhou Province, China.

In the U.S., Cyanotrichite has several good localities in Arizona, specifically the Grandview Mine near the Grand Canyon, in Concino Co.; the Copper Queen Mine in Bisbee, Cochise Co.; and the Maid of Sunshine Mine, Cortland, Cochise Co. Cyanotrichite also comes from the American Eagle Mine in the Tintic District in Juab Co., Utah; the Peacock Mine, Lemhi Co., Idaho; and the Majuba Hill mine, Pershing Co., Nevada.

COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS
Malachite, Azurite, Brochantite, Smithsonite

DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS
Aurichalcite - Greener color.
Azurite - Usually darker blue.


cyanotrichite PHOTOS
 
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
 
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