Mining the Facts: Chrysocolla | Dakota Blog 12.20.2021
The Southwest United States has produced many minerals and gems since exploration began in its arid and rocky expanses. Prospectors searched for gold, silver and copper, and mining operations pull those elements from the ground, along with gemstones of every type.
In the caves, where stalagmites and stalactites formed, in the crusts of copper veins, an anhydrous copper silicate known as chrysocolla was found. It looked a lot like turquoise, another stone found in the dusty and gem-filled Southwest, with it’s blue-green colors and sparkles of quartz.
Other well-known stones like azurite and malachite are also found in and around copper deposits and is often combined with chrysocolla. This gives you some amazing color variation of deep blues and vibrant greens added to rust, copper, and reddish brown in speckles, veins and brecciated patterns.
Designers like using chrysocolla because it is a much cheaper alternative to turquoise. Though it does not replace the beauty of turquoise, you can pull off some really stunning and unique pieces using chrysocolla.