Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Gemstone of the Week: Shattuckite

(Shattuckite image found on espyjewelry.com)
(Shattuckite image found on samsilverhawk.com)

Shattuckite was discovered in 1915 and is a rare secondary copper silicate.  Like many other gemstones, it was named after the location where it was first found: Shattuck Mine, Bisbee, Arizona, USA. Its colour may be light blue, dark blue, or green and tends to be translucent (sometimes even transparent) with a vitreous or silky luster. Shattuckite has a hardness of only 3.5 so more care should be taken not to possibly damage it.  Shattuckite forms  as either fibrous crystals or as granular anhedral or subhedral crystal massives in matrix. Shattuckite forms in the oxidation zone of copper deposits and is sometimes confused with Plancheite, another rare secondary copper silicate of similar appearance. Shattuckite may be found in: Argentine, Austria, Democratic Republic of Congo(Zaire), Germany, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Namibia, Norway, Slovakia, South Africa, England, and the states of Arizona, California, Nevada, and New Mexico.