This specimen features aggregations of vivid green malachite and blue azurite that formed over limonite encrusted quartz. This specimen was collected from Morocco.
Malachite is an intense green copper-based mineral that can be found in a wide variety of forms. Malachite can grow in botryoidal masses, stalactitic formations, and reniform formations, typically as a tight cluster of fanning fibrous needles that make up a seemingly solid mass. As layers continue to stack during formation, a banded pattern can sometimes begin to take shape, which explains the rings in all shades of green that are seen on most polished malachite specimens.
Malachite results from the weathering of other copper ores and is very often found associated with other copper-based minerals such as Azurite and Chrysocolla. It can be found in copper deposits around the world, but the Democratic Republic Of The Congo is the primary source for polished malachite and mineral specimens.
Malachite has been prized since ancient times, first as a utilitarian copper ore, then as an ornamental stone. Due to it's value as a decorative stone, it's rarely mined as a copper ore anymore.
Azurite is a copper carbonate hydroxide mineral with a chemical composition of Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2. It is best known for it's beautiful and vibrant blue appearance, typically forming with other colorful, copper rich minerals.
Azurite and malachite are known to form in union with each other, for their chemical makeup is very similar. In fact, the presence of more or less water in the location of formation, is enough to determine whether an abundance of malachite over azurite, or vise-versa, will accumulate.
Silicon Dioxide, also know as SiO2 or Quartz, is the second most abundant mineral in the Earth's crust. Quartz crystals generally grow in silica-rich, hot watery solutions called hydrothermal environments, at temperatures between 100¬∞C and 450¬∞C, and usually under very high pressure. Quartz veins are formed when open fissures are filled with hot water during the closing stages of mountains forming, and can be hundreds of millions of years old.
Malachite, Azurite & Quartz