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The Mineral linarite

Linarite is known for its exceptionally bright blue color. Specimens may be mistakenly labeled as Azurite, since both are found in the same localities and can be very similar in appearance. Simple tests can distinguish the two, for their physical properties differ.

Linarite is named for its type locality, Linares, in the Andalusian province of Jaén, Spain.
Chemical Formula PbCu(SO4)(OH)2
Composition Basic sulfate of lead and copper
Color Bright blue
Streak Pale blue
Hardness 2.5
Crystal System Monoclinic
3D Crystal Atlas
(Click for animated model) 
Crystal Forms
and Aggregates
As small tabular and elongated prismatic crystals, though most often as acicular and encrusting aggregates, as well as disorganized, vein-like groupings with apparent crystal faces.
Transparency Translucent
Specific Gravity 5.3 - 5.4
Luster Adamantine to vitreous
Cleavage 1,1 ; 3,1
Fracture Conchoidal
Tenacity Brittle
Complex Tests Soluble in diluted nitric acid
In Group Sulfates; Hydrous Sulfates
Striking Features Intense blue color and frequent association with Brochantite.
Environment Linarite is a secondary mineral, formed through the oxidation of copper and lead ores.
Rock Type Sedimentary, Metamorphic
Popularity (1-4) 3
Prevalence (1-3) 3
Demand (1-3) 2


Linarite is a minor ore of copper where it exists in large copper deposits.

Good European localities of Linarite include Caldbeck Fells, Cumbria, England; the Baccu Locci and Montevecchio Mines, on the island of Sardinia, Italy; and Linares, Spain, which is the locality this mineral was named after. In Africa it was found in Tsumeb, Namibia; and in Goulmina and Mujurum, Morocco. South American Linarite occurrences are Serra de Capitillas, Argentina; and Las Condes, Copiapo, and Chuquicatama, Chile.

In the U.S., some of the the largest Linarite crystals have come from the Mammoth-St. Anthony Mine in Tiger, Pinal Co., Arizona. Also in Arizona are the copper mines at Bisbee, Cochise Co.; and the Grand Reef Mine, Klondyke, Graham Co. One of the most famous occurrences of this mineral is the Blanchard Mine in Bingham, Socorro Co., New Mexico. California Linarite localities include Cerro Gordo and Darwin, Inyo Co.; and at the Blue Bell claims, Baker, San Bernardino Co.

Brochantite, Cerussite, Galena, Malachite, Smithsonite, Chalcopyrite, Caledonite, Anglesite, Hemimorphite

Azurite - Harder, lighter in weight, effervesces in hydrochloric acid.

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