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(ăzh`ərīt), blue mineral, the basic carbonate of copper, occurring in monoclinic crystals or masses that range from transparent to translucent and opaque. It is usually associated with malachitemalachite
, a mineral, the green basic carbonate of copper occurring in crystals of the monoclinic system or (more usually) in masses. It is translucent or opaque; the luster is silky, vitreous, adamantine, or dull. It takes a good polish.
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, which it resembles except in color; when the two minerals are very closely associated, the stone is called azurmalachite. Beautiful crystals of azurite are found in the United States in Arizona and New Mexico and in France at Chessy (for which the mineral is sometimes called chessylite); they are used for ornamental purposes. The mineral is an important ore of copper.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a mineral belonging to the class of carbonates. The chemical composition of azurite is Cu3[Co3]2(OH)2. Azurite crystallizes in a monoclinic system, forming tabular or prismatic crystals that are dark blue in color. It is frequently found in powdery masses, mud, and other substances (blue malachite). Its cleavability is unsure and unidirectional, and it has a bright, glasslike luster. Azurite has a hardness of 3.5–4 on the mineralogical scale and a density of 3,770–3,890 kg per cu m. It is easily dissolved in acids, with the release of carbon dioxide.

Azurite is formed on the earth’s surface by the oxidation of the primary mineral ores of copper—copper pyrites, bornite, fahlerz, and others. Minerals associated with azurite are native copper, malachite, cuprite, chrysocolla, and other minerals found in zones where copper deposits are subject to oxidation. The copper content of azurite is 55.3 percent, and it is a valuable copper ore. Azurite is also suitable for the preparation of deep blue paints.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2 A blue monoclinic mineral consisting of a basic carbonate of copper; an ore of copper. Also known as blue copper ore; blue malachite; chessylite.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.