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Chrysocolla Meaning, Properties, Facts and Photos

large chrysocolla mineral on display in a museum display cabinet

1. What is Chrysocolla?
2. The Meaning of Chrysocolla
3. More about Chrysocolla
4. Chrysocolla Healing Properties
5. Article Pictures
6. Shop Chrysocolla

What is Chrysocolla?

Chrysocolla is often found close to copper minerals such as malachite, turquoise, quartz and azurite.

Its impressive colour comes from copper.  Some material when polished, can be mistaken for turquoise.

Chrysocolla occurs as botryoidal or rounded masses. Botryoidal means it has a clustered grape-like shape.  Rounded masses refer to a smooth, curved formation.

Chrysocolla can also be found as 'bubbly crusts' which means it forms bubbly layers on the surface of rocks or other minerals.

Although very soft in its purest form, it can be considerably harder when combined with quartz.
Chrysocolla is widely used as a decorative stone, but because it's so soft, can be difficult to work with.  On the Mohs scale of hardness, pure chrysocolla grades 2.5 to 3.5.  When combined with quartz it can increase to 7.

Although mined in several locations around the world, large quantities of commercial-grade stone come from Africa, particularly the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Meaning of Chrysocolla

The name 'chrysocolla' comes from the Greek 'chrysos', meaning 'gold', and 'kolla' meaning glue.  When translated it means 'gold solder'.

In ancient texts, gold solder describes a solder used on gold.  It's not known for certain whether the solder was green copper carbonate, which is the mineral malachite, or blue hydrated copper silicate which is chrysocolla.

Despite tests being carried out on gold artefacts, there is still no definitive answer.

The ancient Greek philosopher Theophrastus wrote about chrysocolla in his treatise Theophrastus on Stones.  It's believed 'chrysocolla' was a term used to describe all bright green copper minerals including malachite.
impressive turquoise coloured chrysocolla rough mineralHe wrote, "Chrysokolla can be found in large quantities in gold mines and even more in copper mines".

He also said it can be found in "kyanos", which in Greek, means blue copper carbonate.  That's a geological description of the mineral azurite which confirms malachite was part of the group of minerals known as 'chrysokolla'.

In later writings, the Roman author and naturalist Pliny the Elder says the "ancients used the name chrysocolla more as a reference to the stone we know today as malachite".  He goes on to say, it should not be confused with modern chrysocolla.

He states, "gold is dug out of the earth and in close proximity to it chrysocolla, a substance which may appear all the more precious and still retains the name which it borrowed from gold".

Pliny talks about chrysocolla being a liquid found in mine shafts that flows through the veins of gold.  He describes it as a kind of slime which hardens and becomes "like a stone during the cold winter".

He says the finest chrysocolla can be found in silver mines and then copper mines.

rough chrysocolla mineral on display in a museum display cabinet

More About Chrysocolla

Early Native American Indians used chrysocolla for healing and to cope with emotional challenges. It was also powdered and used as a digestive aid to improve the body's resistance to disease and to relieve arthritic symptoms. 

The dust from many minerals, whether inhaled or ingested is toxic.  The worst offenders are those that contain copper oxide.  Turquoise contains around 9.8%, chrysocolla 45% and azurite and malachite 70%.

When cutting and polishing any mineral, protective breathing equipment should be worn. 

Minerals containing copper should never be used as an elixir.

With pure chrysocolla being exceptionally soft it should be handled as little as possible.  Stones combined with quartz will be far more resilient.

collection of chrysocolla tumbled stones

Chrysocolla Healing Properties

Chrysocolla provides inner strength and resilience during periods of stress or grief. It can be particularly useful for those whose situation is constantly changing.

It promotes harmony within the home and eliminates negativity from an environment or person.

Chrysocolla calms and re energises all of the chakras.  When used with the throat chakra it facilitates clear and honest communication.  It encourages the ability to express emotions, thoughts and needs with confidence and sensitivity.

Chrysocolla helps you to articulate ideas and resolve conflicts without becoming emotionally involved.  It encourages the truth to be spoken and supports impartiality. It's particularly useful for when helping friends or family who find themselves in a difficult situation or relationship.

Its soothing energy alleviates stress, anxiety and emotional turmoil by promoting inner peace and serenity. It supports personal growth, empowerment and self-discovery. 

Building a connection with chrysocolla brings wisdom and intuition.

When placed close to the heart chakra it spreads warmth, love and kindness.  Its gentle energy inspires patience and tolerance allowing you to open your heart to love and nurture a meaningful connection.

Article Pictures

The chrysocolla in the photo at the top of our article is on display in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington D.C.  Photo by Stone Mania.

The second photo is chrysocolla with quartz from Arizona.  Photo courtesy of Steve Blyskal. 

The next photo is malachite on chrysocolla from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo courtesy of Stan Celestian.

The chrysocolla tumbled stones are from our collection.  

Images are clickable and redirect to the original photo.

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