Learn about the many crystals, gemstones, and minerals that we carry at Majestic Mineral & Gem.
Azurite is a soft, deep blue copper-rich mineral produced by the weathering of copper ore deposits. Azurite is one of the two basic copper carbonate minerals, the other being Malachite. Azurite has the formula Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2, with the copper cations linked to two different anions; carbonate and hydroxide.
Azurite is unstable in open air (compared to malachite), and can often be pseudomorphically replaced by Malachite if conditions are right. This weathering process involves the replacement of some of the carbon dioxide (CO2) units with water (H2O), changing the ratio of Azurite from 1:1 to the 1:2 ratio of Malachite.
Azurite crystals form in a monoclinic system. Large crystals are dark blue, and are often prismatic; sometimes growing into stalactitic formations. Azurite specimens can be massive to nodular and can form a sparkling “druzy” effect if the crystal formations are small enough. Azurite is considered to be a soft mineral, with a Mohs hardness of only 3.5 to 4.
The intense color of Azurite makes it a popular collector’s stone, however, bright light, heat, and open air all tend to reduce the intensity of its color over time. To help preserve it, store in a cool, dark environment similar to that of its natural setting.