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nice sample of azurite with small bits of matrix included

Category: Minerals

Scientific Azurite is a secondary copper mineral found in the oxidized zones of copper deposits. It is found worldwide both separately and in conjunction with malachite. Azurite is a copper carbonate with the formula Cu3(CO3)2(OH)3 , by weight it is 70% copper. It is a deep azure blue in color, with tabular to prismatic crystal structure. Crystals can range in size from fairly large, with a fairly large price; to so fine the azurite appears as a blue mass, which is much less expensive. There are 45 well known forms, and over 100 have been described. Azurite slowly weathers to malachite by losing one hydroxyl molecule. Common secondary copper minerals are azurite and malachite which are both copper carbonates, chrysocolla which is a copper silicate, and turquoise which is a copper phosphate. USE Azurite has been mined and smelted for copper for centuries; however, deposits are usually not large enough to be mined for copper today, but can indicate the presence of copper ore nearby. If the azurite is easy to obtain and of good enough quality it can be removed from existing mines. Azurite is relatively soft, 3.5 to 4 on the Mohs scale, is brittle and breaks easily along cleavage which limits its use in jewelry. However it takes a high polish and is often cut into cabochons, beads, small carvings, and such where their use limits the effects of abrasion. In ancient Egypt it was ground up and used as blue pigment. During the Middle Ages and Renaissance it was the most important blue pigment used in paintings prior to the 18th century. Today these paintings are showing the deterioration of the azuite to malachite. Azurite paints and pigments are still easy to find today. Meaning Azurite has always been considered a potent psychic stone, with its secrets generally known only to the highest priests and priestesses. It was recognized in ancient China where it was known as the Stone of Heaven. It recognized by the Greeks, Romans, Mayans, and Native Americans as a stone that opened celestial gateways enhancing dream and psychic powers. It is associated with the third eye and crown chakras. As such it stimulates the intellect and intuition providing visionary insights aiding in conceptual leaps and the ability to transfer wisdom and knowledge via thought. It aids in strengthening the astral and etheric bodies making them less vulnerable to psychic attack.

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