Mineral Name Aurichalcite
First Discovered 1839
Nickel-Strunz Classification 05.BA.15
Dana Classification 16a.04.02.01
ICSD 75323
Mineral Group Carbonates


Aurichalcite is a carbonate mineral, usually found as a secondary mineral in copper and zinc deposits. It was first described in 1839 by Bottger, who named the mineral for its zinc and copper content after the Greek ό�?ειχαλκος, for "mountain brass" or "mountain copper", the name of a fabulous metal. The type locality is the Loktevskoye Mine, Upper Loktevka River, Rudnyi Altai, Altaiskii Krai, Western Siberia, Russia. Aurichalcite has been found in Chessy, France; Laurium, Greece; the Leadhills of Scotland; and in England in Matlock, Derbyshire and Caldbeck Fells (Cumbria). Other European occurrences are Campiglia Marittima, Livorno Province, Tuscany, Italy; and the Rohdenhaus Quarry, Wolfrath, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. In the United States, good specimens come primarily from Arizona in the 79 Mine in Hayden, Gila County. the Copper Queen Mine in Bisbee, Cochise County, and from the Silver Hill Mine in Pima County. Other important localities include Magdalena, Soccoro County, New Mexico; the Hidden Treasure Mine and Stockton, Tooele County., Utah; and the Keeler Mine, Cottonwood Canyon, Salt Lake County., Utah. Aurichalcite also occurs in the Grand Deposit Mine of White Pine County, Nevada; the Darwin District of Inyo County, California; and the Tin Mountain Mine, Custer County, South Dakota. Small amounts have also been reported at the Sterling Hill Mine in Ogdensburg, Sussex County, New Jersey.

Within the metaphysical realm of minerals, Aurichalcite encourages fearlessness and stability, helping the believer not to be fearful. It provides a protective shield wherever it is placed. It enhances tact and activates harmony within the believer, so that peace and serenity can manifest in your outer world. It encourages personal freedom, allowing the release of old practices and reaching for and attaining new situations. Aurichalcite clears the believer's aura and smoothes their energy field.

Please note that MIROFOSS does not suggest in any way that minerals should be used in place of proper medical and psychological care. This information is provided here as a reference only.

Due to the rarity of aurichalcite, it is mainly used as a collector's mineral.

Aurichalcite typically occurs in the oxidized zone of copper and zinc deposits.

Aurichalcite has a beautiful intense green-blue colour. Aurichalcite usually occurs as a mat of tiny, thin, interwoven needles. Aurichalcite can also occur as crusts, thin scales, radiating, botryoidal, and as tiny balls of radiating crystals. Individual crystals, which can rarely be seen with the naked eye, are usually elongated, and occasionally tabular. Aurichalcite is considered a natural brass ore, since it is composed of zinc and copper, the constituents of brass. However, it occurs much too sparingly, and there are no practical methods for brass to be extracted from it. It is, though, an ore of zinc and copper when found in mines where there exists workable deposits of these elements. Aurichalcite's distinctive properties and occurrences distinguish it from basically every mineral.

Cleavage Perfect
Colour(s) Pale green, Sky blue, Greenish blue
Specific Gravity 3.77
Diaphaneity Transparent
Fracture Uneven - Flat surfaces (not cleavage) fractured in an uneven pattern
Mohs Hardness 2.0
Luminescence Non-fluorescent
Lustre Pearly
Streak Light blue
Habit(s) Acicular to Druse to Encrustations
Radioactivity Non-radioactive
Magnetism Non-magnetic

No known health risks have been associated with aurichalcite. However ingestion of aurichalcite, as with other naturally occurring minerals, is not recommended.

The following image shows the Elemental breakdown of the mineral aurichalcite along with the mineral crystal structure.

Crystal System Monoclinic
Class Prismatic
Axial Ratios a : b : c = 2.1529 : 1 : 0.8241
Morphology A fine grid-like appearance corresponding to cleavage planes or twinning directions.
Optical Data Type Biaxial (-)
Pleochroism (x) Colourless
Pleochroism (y) Bluish green
Pleochroism (z) Bluish green
RL Values nα = 1.655 nβ = 1.740 nγ = 1.744
2V Measured: 1° to 4°, Calculated: 22°
Max Birefringence δ = 0.089 (See colour chart at right)
Surface Relief High
Dispersion Relatively strong r < v

Aurichalcite can be referenced in certain current and historical texts under the following six names:


The mineral aurichalcite can be translated into the following select languages:
Arabic   Bulgarian   Chinese (Sim)  
Croatian   Czech   Danish  
Dutch Aurichalciet Esperanto   Estonian  
Finnish   French Calamine verdâtre German Aurichalcit
Greek   Hebrew   Hungarian  
Italian Auricalcite Japanese 水亜鉛銅鉱 Korean  
Latin   Lithuanian   Norwegian  
Persian   Polish   Portuguese  
Romanian   Russian урихальцит Slovak Aurichalcit
Spanish Auricalcita Swedish Aurikalcit Tagalog  
Turkish   Ukrainian урихальцит Vietnamese  

Aurichalcite can be found in a few places around the world. The map below shows major documented concentrations of aurichalcite:

The MIROFOSS database offers free printable geological identification tags for personal and non-profit use. These tags can be used to properly identify mineral samples in your collection. -Click here- to download a full size jpeg image for an aurichalcite identification tag; which can be printed on paper or used with a plastic laser printer.

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Chemical Composistion Jambor, J. L. and Pouliot, G. (1965): X-ray crystallography of aurichalcite and hydrozincite. Can. Mineral. 8, 385-389.
Crystallography Harding, M.M., B.M. Kariuki, R. Cernik, and G. Cressey (1994) The structure of aurichalcite, (Cu,Zn)5(OH)6(CO3)2, determined from a microcrystal. Acta Crystallographica B - Structural Science 50: 673-676.
History Anthony, J.W., Bideaux, R.A., Bladh, K.W., and Nichols, M.C. (2003) Handbook of Mineralogy, Volume V. Borates, Carbonates, Sulfates. Mineral Data Publishing, Tucson, AZ, 813pp.: 39.
Geograpcial Data Mindat.org. Retrieved on 2012-08-31
Physical Identification Webmineral.com. Retrieved on 2012-08-31.
October 05, 2013 The last time this page was updated
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