Linarite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Linarite

The blue color of linarite is magnificent, and it is a pity that large facetable rough has not been found. Clean areas of crystals are usually very small, and breakage in cutting due to the softness and cleavage of the mineral further complicates the salvaging of a large gem. This is a lovely collector item and an extremely rare one.

Linarite Information

Data Value
Name Linarite
Crystallography Monoclinic. Crystals prismatic; also in druses and crusts.
Refractive Index 1.809-1.859
Colors Dark azure blue.
Luster Vitreous to subadamantine.
Hardness 2.5
Fracture Conchoidal
Specific Gravity 5.30
Birefringence 0.050
Cleavage Perfect 1 direction
Stone Sizes Faceted gems over 1 carat are very rare. Anything over ½ carat is remarkably large for linarite. Crystals tend to be filled with fractures or are translucent and are usually very thin blades on rock. Grand Reef material has yielded cut gems in the 2-carat range.
Luminescence None.
Luminescence Present No
Transparency Translucent to transparent.
Absorption Spectrum Not diagnostic.
Formula PbCu(SO4)(OH)2.
Pleochroism Pale blue/medium blue/Prussian blue.
Optics a = 1.809; β = 1.838, γ = 1.859. Biaxial (-), 2V= 80°.
Optic Sign Biaxial -

Streak: Pale blue.

Optics:  a = 1.809; β= 1.838, γ= 1.859.

Biaxial (-), 2V= 80°.

Occurrence: Secondary mineral in the oxidized zones of lead-copper deposits.

Blanchard Mine, Socorro County, New Mexico: California: Montana: Utah: Idaho: Nevada.

England: Scotland; Spain: Germany: Sardinia: Russia: Canada: Argentina: Peru: Chile: Japan: Australia: Tsumeb, Namibia.

Mammoth Mine, Tiger, Arizona: large crystals of fine color.

Grand Reef, Arizona: large crystals, some cuttable.

Comments: The blue color of linarite is magnificent, and it is a pity that large facetable rough has not been found. Clean areas of crystals are usually very small, and breakage in cutting due to the softness and cleavage of the mineral further complicates the salvaging of a large gem. This is a lovely collector item and an extremely rare one.

Name: After the locality, Linares, Spain.

Ready to learn how to identify gems on your own?

Join our mailing list below to download a FREE gem ID checklist tutorial. See what’s inside…

• Discover the 17 practical steps to gemstone identification (even if you’re just getting started with gemology)

• Learn how you can use specific tools to gather data, make observations & arrive at an accurate ID

• Explore a range of gemological tests… not only will you get familiar with the process but also time-saving shortcuts!