DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Azurite is a secondary mineral, a hydrated copper carbonate. Its crystal symmetry monoclinic, chemical formula (Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2. It occurs both in crystalline form but more frequently as an amorphous precipitate. Its name refers to its color, a deep azure-blue that makes it popular as a collector's item, but only rarely used in body-jewelry on account of its susceptibility to wear and color loss. In medieval times, the mineral was ground into fine powder and used by painters as a blue pigment. In this specimen the azurite occurs as a septarian nodule, rather a rarity. From Rudniy, near Altay in Russia, actual diameter 10 cm.
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