Chrysocolla Chunk from Australia, weight 305g | 8x7x4cm approx.
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Chrysocolla is a hydrated copper silicate and is a minor ore of copper. The stone is quite soft, with a hardness ranging from 2.5 to 3.5. Chrysocolla has a vibrant, blue-green colour and is often mistaken for Turquoise, another visually similar copper mineral. It is of secondary origin and is found in the oxidation zone of copper deposits, often encrusting or replacing earlier secondary minerals. Associated minerals include quartz, limonite, azurite, malachite, cuprite and other secondary copper minerals.
The name Chrysocolla was first used to describe the stone by Theophrastus, a Greek philosopher and botanist, in 315 B.C. The word was derived from the Greek words chrysos, meaning gold, and kolla, meaning glue, referring to the fact that Chrysocolla was employed from the earliest times by goldsmiths as an ingredient for solder.