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Chrysocolla

Chrysocolla

Chrysocolla is a basic copper silicate composed of a mix of various microscopic crystals found in a variety of colors.  It has a greasy vitreous luster.  The name chrysocolla originated in ancient times, and was applied by the Greek philosopher Theophrastus in 315 BC to various materials used in soldering gold.  The name is derived from the Greek chrysos, meaning gold, and kolla, meaning glue.  It is a minor ore of copper and is used as an ornamental stone.

 Chrysocolla is harder than turquoise and softer than chalcedony. It is a secondary mineral and usually forms in the zone of alteration in all types of hydrothermal replacement deposits, where it is frequently associated with azurite, malachite and limonite. Chrysocolla is soft and fragile and tends to break easily when exposed to the atmosphere. It is mixed with quartz or chalcedony to give it durability.
Chrysocolla is frequently inter-grown with other minerals such as quartz, chalcedony, or opal to yield a harder, more resilient gemstone variety.  Inter-grown with turquoise and malachite from Israel it is called “Eilat stone,” which is the national stone of Israel. In 1950, the United States’ lapidaries voted chrysocolla-colored chalcedony the “most popular American gem.”
Most chrysocolla comes from the southwest United States, but it is also found at Cornwall, Lebanon Co., Pennsylvania. Fine specimens of glassy green chrysocolla were also obtained from copper mines at Bisbee, Cochise Co., in the Globe district, Gila Co., and in the Clifton-Morenci district, Greenlee Co., all in Arizona.
Chrysocolla is usually confused with azurite, dyed chalcedony, malachite, turquoise, and variscite.

 

Blog, Fashion

Cat’s Eyes

Cat's Eyes

 Cat’s eye is also known as “chrysoberyl cat’s eye,” or cymophane, from the Greek – waving light.  All other cat’s eye is designated with a different name.  Cat’s eye forms fine parallel inclusions that produce a silver-white line that appears as a moving light ray in a cabochon cut stone; resembling the pupil of a cat.  The most valuable examples of cymophane or cat’s-eye tend to show a thinner line of light. It is most prized when golden yellow-brown.

Cat’s-eye occurs in granitic rocks and pegmatites, and in mica schists. It is also frequently found in alluvial sands and gravels. Chrystoberyl cat’s eyes are not to be confused with quartz cat’s-eyes; they are greenish yellow, or yellow, often with a cold, grayish tone. Other stones showing chatoyancy should be called “tourmaline cat’s-eye, “ruby cat’s-eye and so forth. In ancient times Hindus believed that a cat’s eye guarded its owner’s health and provided assurance against poverty.

Deposits of chrysoberyl cat’s eye are found in the Ural Mountains of Russia, Sri Lanka and Brazil, as well as in China, southern India, and Zimbabwe. It is found in the United States but there are no major sources.

It is often confused with quartz cat’s eye, and prehnite cat’s eye.  Synthetic chrysoberyl cat’s eye and doublets are also known.

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http://www.minerals.net/gemstone/cat’s_eye_gemstone.aspx