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THE MINERAL AZURITE

Azurite owes its name to its beautiful azure-blue color, which makes it a very popular and well-known mineral. It usually occurs with green Malachite, which may form green stains or specks on Azurite crystals or aggregates. The two minerals sometimes occur admixed or banded together, forming what is called "Azure-malachite" in the gem and mineral trades. A rarer Azurite mixture, known as "Bluebird", is Azurite mixed with dark red Cuprite. Azurite, "Azure-malachite", and "Bluebird" all have gem uses.

In some localities, the Azurite undergoes a chemical change and loses some hydroxyl, altering the Azurite to Malachite, but retaining the crystal shape of the original Azurite. Sometimes, only part of the Azurite is altered to Malachite, while the other part remains as Azurite. Such specimens are green on one end and blue on the other.

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