Azurite is a very popular mineral because of its unparalleled color
Azurite is a very popular mineral because of its unparalleled color, a deep blue called “azure”, hence its name. The color is due to the presence of copper (a strong coloring agent), and the way the copper chemically combines with the carbonate groups (CO3) and hydroxyls (OH). At times its color is too deep and larger crystals can appear black. Small crystals and crusts show the lighter azure color well. Azurite is often associated with its colorful close cousin, malachite. Green malachite is closely associated with azurite in many ways. Not only do they frequently occur together they also have very similar formulae. Malachite can also replace azurite, making a pseudo morph, or an exact copy of an azurite crystal (only now instead of being blue, it would be green). It is also an unimportant ore of copper, although its significance has been more impressive in the past. It is still considered a minor ore of copper; mostly because it is found associated with other more valuable copper ores. Fine crystal clusters, nodular specimens, and interesting and beautiful combinations with malachite are important pieces in anyone’s mineral collection. The magnificent color of azurite is worth mentioning again as it truly is a one-of-a-kind in the mineral world. Azurite is one of those classic minerals.