Azurite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information


Azurite and Malachite- Arizona
Azurite with malachite: Bisbee, Arizona (~ 4 inches high). Photo © Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA. Used with permission.

Faceted azurite is a great rarity, but even small stones are extremely dark, virtually black.

Azurite Value

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Azurite Information

DataValue
NameAzurite
Crystallography Monoclinic. Crystals may be large and perfect, tabular, prismatic; also massive, earthy, banded, stalactitic.
Colors Light and dark azure blue.
Luster Vitreous (crystals) to earthy or dull.
Fracture Conchoidal. Brittle.
Hardness 3.5-4
Specific Gravity 3.77
Birefringence 0.110
Cleavage Perfect 1 direction.
Luminescence None
Spectral Not diagnostic
FormulaCu3 (CO3)2(OH)2
Pleochroism Strong, in shades of blue.
Optics RI: α= 1.730; β = 1.758 γ = 1.836; Biaxial (+), 2V ~67°
EtymologyIn allusion to the color, derived from the Persian word lazhward, meaning blue.
OccurrenceSecondary mineral in copper deposits.
azurite - velvet beauty
“Velvet Beauty,” a stunning azurite specimen, weighs 3 pounds and measures 9” in diameter. It was discovered in 1890 in Bisbee, Arizona. Tucson Gem and Mineral Show 2007, by cobalt123. Licensed under CC By-SA 2.0.

Comments

Azurmalachite is a mixture of azurite and another copper carbonate, malachite.

Burnite is a mixture of azurite and cuprite (copper oxide).

Azurite occurs in fine crystals in many localities. When it occurs in massive form, the material is almost always mixed with malachite. In this form, it is cut as very attractive cabochons and large decorative items, such as boxes. Azurite’s intense blue color is distinctive, thus making it very desirable among mineral collectors and gem hobbyists.

Artists have used blue pigments made from azurite since ancient times. Perhaps not surprisingly, people have confused this stone with lapis lazuli, another well-known historic source of blue pigments.

Sources

  • Chessy, France: material is sometimes called chessylitefine crystals in large groups.
  • Morenci and Bisbee, Arizona: banded and massive material, also crystals.
  • Eclipse Mine, Muldiva-Chillagoe area. Queensland, Australia; gemmy crystals up to about 9 grams.
  • Kelly, New Mexico, also other localities in that state.
  • Italy, Greece, Russia.
  • Tsumeb, Namibia: fine, tabular crystals, some facetable in small bits.
  • Zacatecas, Mexico: fine but small crystals.

Stone Sizes

Facetable crystals are always tiny. Cut gems are all less than one carat. It is pointless to cut larger stones, as they would be so dark as to be opaque. Gem cutters sometimes take dark blue crystalline material and create cabochons up to several inches across.

Care

Due to azurite’s relatively low hardness, store jewelry made from this material in a cloth bag or box, away from other gems. Harder gems could scratch them. (A knife could scratch the surface of most of these stones). Consult our gemstone jewelry cleaning guide for more care recommendations.

azurite - namibia
“Azurite,” Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.