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
Colors Dark azure blue.
Crystallography Monoclinic. Crystals prismatic; also in druses and crusts.
Refractive Index 1.809-1.859
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.