Chrysocolla - Mineral and Healing Properties

Chemistry: CuSiO3 - nH2 O, Hydrated copper silicate

Class: Silicates

Subclass: Phyllosilicates

Uses: Minor ore of copper and an ornamental stone.

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Chrysocolla is attractive blue-green and provides a unique color to the mineral world. Chrysocolla is perhaps more appropriately a mineraloid than a true mineral. Most of the time it is amorphous meaning that it does not have a coherent crystalline structure. However at higher temperatures it does demonstrate a distorted crystal structure that seems to be composed of Si4 O10 sheets. Chrysocolla forms in the oxidation zones of copper rich ore bodies.

Pure chrysocolla is soft and fragile and therefore not appropriate for use in jewelry. However, chrysocolla often is "agatized" in chalcedony quartz and it is the quartz that provides the stone with its polish and durability. Druzy chrysocolla is a rock composed of agatized chrysocolla with a crust of small sparkling quartz crystals in small cavities. A skilled craftsman, if able to polish a specimen that accentuates the colored swirls of chrysocolla and sparkles of the Druzy quartz, can produce a lovely and valuable piece of jewelry. Occasionally, chrysocolla can have a turquoise color and be used as a fraudulent substitute for the more precious stone.

Origin Of The Name

The name Chrysacolla comes from the Greek words "cyrysos" which means "gold" and the word "kola" which means "glue".

Interesting Facts

Chrysocolla harmonizes with Larimar, Aquamarine and Ajoite, which vibrate in the same general spectrum. Chrysocolla has been known to man since the beginning of recorded history. It should be noted that Chrysocolla got its name because its properties were first used to solder gold. Using Chrysocolla was first recorded in 315 BC by a Greek philosopher and botanist named Theophrastus. Legend has it that eilat stone was originally mined in King Solomon's mines in Africa.

In ancient Egypt, it was called the "wise stone" because it shielded and encouraged the mind during negotiations. Those who wore it generally came up with clever compromises and resolutions and it is said that Cleopatra wore chrysocolla jewelry everywhere she went.

Nero was a Roman Emperor and well-known patron of the green faction of ancient Rome. These ancient factions were split into four colors: red, white, blue and green and were elite clubs that people felt loyalty to above all others. They would have many competitions, such as chariot races, and would do anything to ensure that their club would win and be proven superior. The green faction was the most dominant club, so when Nero was to take part in a race as a charioteer, he dusted the circus arena with ground green chrysocolla powder instead of using the customary sand.

Where Is It Found

Chrysocolla occurs very widely in the American Southwest in copper deposits. Blue chrysocolla impregnated quartz, covered by small crystals of white quartz, from the Globe Mine, Gila County, Arizona, are frequent in collections. Fine massive specimens were found, in the early stages, in most of the western United States copper mines. Also found today in Africa and Chile. Russia and England (Cornwall and Cumberland) once produced good specimens.

Notable Occurrences include Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Pennsylvania, USA; Israel; Zaire and England.

What Do We Do With It

Chrysocolla was used in the West like turquoise for jewelry, but pure chrysocolla free of quartz is rather fragile and likely to crack. However, chrysocolla is often "agatized" in chalcedony quartz. The quartz provides the stone with its polish and durability. A famous form of this came from Mexico many years ago. It was called Parrot Wing.

Another nice form is Druzy Chrysocolla. It is composed of agatized chrysocolla with a crust of small sparkling quartz crystals in small cavities.

Polished specimens that show the vivid blue-green of chrysocolla and sparkling druzy quartz on top, can be quite pretty.

It is also an ore of copper when it is mixed in with other secondary copper minerals. Chrysocolla's most popular use is as rare mineral specimens.

Metaphysical Uses

Chrysocolla is a very peaceful stone. It is soothing and calming in times of stress, bringing about a gentle release. Chrysocolla gently draws off negative energies of all kinds and is especially helpful during transitional times, such as breakups and job loss, among other similar situations. By the same token, Chrysocolla can help calm the emotions and bring understanding to discordant relationships.

Chrysocolla is a wonderful piece to use, on a daily basis, as a support stone. It helps to face challenges and changes with ease. Chrysocolla inspires creativity, inner balance and self-awareness. Chrysocolla can be used where feelings of anger, guilt and blame are present. It will gently assist in the awareness and understanding of this process and will bring in the energies of forgiveness, love and joy. Chrysocolla is a powerful stone because it aligns all chakras with the Divine.

Chrysocolla is a tranquil stone. Chrysocolla can be used with the Throat Chakra, where it helps with wise communication, or with the Heart Chakra to balance and strengthen, helping one to learn how to live from the truth of the Heart. It can also be used to open and activate the Thymus, or Second Heart Chakra. Chrysocolla has been used with the Third-Eye to enhance meditation, bringing visions and knowledge of the sublime into conscious awareness.

At home, use Chrysocolla to guard against obnoxious neighbors, unwanted phone calls and emails. It is helpful, especially for the elderly, to ease feelings of fear when living alone.

Physically, Chrysocolla can help heal ailments of the lungs, back, and stomach. It alleviates rheumatism, arthritis and painful joints. It oxidizes the blood and helps with proper lung function. Chrysocolla also helps with high blood pressure, insulin production, thyroid problems, PMS, healthy fetal development and labor pains.

Physical Characteristics

Color: Unique green-blue but can vary widely from more blue to more green, often in the same specimen.

Luster: Earthy to dull or vitreous and waxy.

Transparency: Specimens are translucent to opaque.

Crystal System: Probably monoclinic or orthorhombic.

Crystal Habit: Growth Habits include mostly massive forms that can be crusts, stalachtites and botryoidal. Also as inclusions in other minerals such as quartz.

Cleavage: Absent

Fracture: Pronounced conchoidal.

Hardness: Variable from 2 to 4.

Specific Gravity: Approximately 2.0 - 2.3 (very light)

Streak: White to blue-green.

Associated Minerals: Quartz, limonite, azurite, malachite, cuprite and other secondary copper minerals.

Other Characteristics: May have an opal like appearance.

Best Field Indicators: Lack of crystals, color, fracture, low density and softness.

Educational Videos

Warehouse Full of Chrysocolla

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