Azurite | Form of Oxidized Copper
The minerals azurite and malachite are both forms of oxidized copper, wherever one occurs the other is rarely far away. Azurite and malachite can also occur as one combined mineral and when they do it's known as azurite malachite. Prized for its impressive rich blue colour, this highly sought after mineral is known to have been mined in Ancient Egypt and was ground down for use as a pigment.
During the Middle Ages and Renaissance the mineral azurite was the most important blue pigment however over time and under the right conditions it slowly turns into malachite. For this reason the blue colouration in some paintings from these periods is now a shade of green.
Azurite which is popular with mineral collectors and also used as a gemstone is very occasionally referred to as chessylite after the region in France where the stone was first identified.
Azurite - Central Australia. Photo; Stan Celestian - Flickr
In Ancient Egypt and on the mythical island of Atlantis, the mineral azurite was believed to have psychic abilities hence has a long history of being used for psychic development and for increasing metaphysical powers. In the crystal healing community azurite stones are said to be beneficial for the mind and mental processes, stress relief, fears, phobias and memory.
Although popular as a gemstone because of its impressive colour, the mineral azurite is very soft and grades just 3½ to 4 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Most of the world's supply comes from France, Australia, Russia, Chile and the USA.
The azurite mineral in our photo at the top of the page is from Gila County, Arizona. Both images in our article are clickable and redirect to the original full size images.