Friday, June 22, 2012
Gemstone of the Week: Chalcanthite
Chalcanthite is a type of copper sulfate and occurs in the oxidized zone of copper deposits. Its name means "copper flower" and comes from the Greek words khalkos (copper) and anthos (flower). Chalcanthite is a brilliantly intense peacock-blue and used to be known as blue vitriol. While it will most often form as veinlets, massives, and stalactite aggregates, Chalcanthite will also form as crystals, although these natural crystals are quite rare. Chalcanthite commonly forms as crusts or stalactites on the timbers and walls inside of mines having crystallized from the mine waters. In Chile (and other arid areas), Chalanthiteis mined as a copper ore.