The Stone: Chrysocolla with Azurite
The Weight: 33.89 carats
The Origin: Morenci, Arizona
The Cut: Polished Freeform Cabochon
- stone measurements: 47.95mm x 21.67mm
Chrysocolla, high grade material referred to as "gem silica," is a blue to green mineral colored by a high copper content. The mineral is often found in copper mines alongside turquoise, malachite, and azurite. Crystalized chrysocolla is rare but available on the market; material typically forms en masse. Chrysocolla's translucency helps differentiate it from opaque turquoise.
Chrysocolla is known to vary in durability. While pendants and earrings are always safe, only some pieces can be worn in rings every day. Material ranges from 2 to 7 on the Mohs hardness scale depending entirely on the amount of silica (or quartz) in the stone's makeup. Generally, dark navy blue pieces are softer, while cyan, green, and blue-green pieces are harder. It is not recommended to put chrysocolla in chemical silver cleaner unless you know for certain it is agatized (the result of having a high silica content).
Azurite is a deep, royal blue stone that is found around the world as a byproduct of copper mining along with turquoise, chrysocolla, and malachite. It is not uncommon to find combinations of azurite and these other stones. Due to its rich color, azurite has been processed and used as pigment for centuries; this practice was started by early Egyptians and became especially popular through the Middle Ages.
Azurite is a very soft stone ranking 3.5 to 4 on the Mohs hardness scale. It is highly recommended to set loose azurite stones into earrings or pendants. Rings made with azurite can only be worn delicately for special occasions. Avoid all chemical jewelry cleaners when cleaning your azurite jewelry; instead, clean only with mild to cool water and a soft bristled toothbrush. A jeweler's rouge cloth on only the metal is the ideal method.