A little about this new material.
Hydrothermal alteration in this area, the most prominent cause of mineralization
here in this region of Arizona has created this suite of new minerals by
altering the original minerals and by introducing various forms of silicas from
quartz crystal to agate.
The black mineral in some of the material are generally hematite or magnetite
mixed with cuprite creating the reddish or purple areas, the large red areas are
generally the copper mineral cuprite which has been silicified [hardened]. The
greens and blues are copper minerals such as chrysocolla, malachite and
turquoise, also silicified by the hydrothermal action. The malachite areas may
show feathery crystals structures under the microscope and even to the naked
eye, while the chrysocolla is always amorphous.
This very unusual blend of colorful minerals and tough to find will take a fine
polish due to the high silica content.
Its color and patterns are unparalleled, and even other, more expensive
turquoise gemstones are often compared to its color and beauty. Although it must
always be blue to be chrysocolla, it can and does have a wide range of shades.
Chrysocolla is not the same everywhere. Different localities can produce a
unique blue colors to that particular region or even to a particular mine site.
Experts can often identify the source mine or area that a particular specimen
came from by the composition . The key to this is the specimen's color and mix,
including crystal formation.
Today, chrysocolla is a lovely and affordable alternative gemstone to turquoise
and is fortunately available in a wide variety of cut and rough stones that we
can all possess, create with and admire at a reasonable cost.