Azurite/Malachite

Azurite/Malachite are both Copper Carbonates, formed from alterations of the original Copper ore. Azurite is a rich, azure-blue color (thus the name) while Malachite is light to dark green. Although they both have a nearly identical atomic structure, the simple change from four symmetrical oxygen atoms in a square formation in Malachite to those same four oxygen atoms in a more asymmetrical formation in Azurite results in a variation in the visible spectrum, thus green (blue + yellow) loses the yellow spectrum and becomes blue. Because of the colors, variety of formations, lusters and aesthetics, these two minerals are extremely popular among collectors. They are typically paired together and often associated with Calcite, Copper, Limonite, Chalcopyrite and Chrysocolla.

The crystal system for Azurite/Malachite is monoclinic, often forming prismatic and tabular crystals. Other forms include banded, botryoidal, massive and stalactitic.

Quality specimens of Azurite/Malachite are found throughout the world. Notable localities include China, DR Congo, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia and the USA (Arizona).

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