Chalcopyrite and Sphalerite on Quartz Matrix

Chalcopyrite and Sphalerite on Quartz Matrix

$29.97

$14.99

(In Stock)

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Chalcopyrite and Sphalerite on Quartz Matrix

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Crystal Quartz Point

Chalcopyrite and Sphalerite on Quartz Matrix

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Brand: Loja das Pedras Brasileiras
Product Code: 8018
Availability: In Stock
$14.99 $29.97
What is Chalcopyrite?

Chalcopyrite is a brass-yellow mineral with a chemical composition of CuFeS2. It occurs in most sulfide mineral deposits throughout the world and has been the most important ore of copper for thousands of years.

The surface of chalcopyrite loses its metallic luster and brass-yellow color upon weathering. It tarnishes to a dull, gray-green color, but in the presence of acids the tarnish can develop a red to blue to purple iridescence.

The iridescent colors of weathered chalcopyrite attract attention. Some souvenir shops sell chalcopyrite that has been treated with acid as "peacock ore." But, "peacock ore" is a more appropriate name for the mineral bornite.

Treated Chalcopyrite

Treated Chalcopyrite: These specimens of chalcopyrite were treated with acid to give them a blue and purple iridescence, which enhances their visual appeal and marketability.

Physical Properties of Chalcopyrite

The most obvious physical properties of chalcopyrite are its brassy yellow color, metallic luster, and high specific gravity. These give it a similar appearance to pyrite and gold. Distinguishing these minerals is easy. Gold is soft, has a yellow streak and has a much higher specific gravity. Chalcopyrite is brittle and has a greenish gray streak. Pyrite is hard enough that it cannot be scratched with a nail, but chalcopyrite is easily scratched with a nail.

The name "fool's gold" is most often associated with pyrite because it is more common and more often confused with gold. Chalcopyrite is also confused with gold, so the name "fool's gold" is also applied and appropriate.

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