Hurlbut, Cornelius S., Jr. Department of Geological Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Last reviewed:March 2021
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A silicate mineral with composition essentially (Cu,Al)2H2Si2O5(OH)4·nH2O; iron, and more rarely manganese, may substitute for copper. Although acicular monoclinic crystals have been reported, the wide variation in the composition of analyzed specimens suggests that chrysocolla is a hydrogel or gelatinous precipitate rather than a well-crystallized mineral. This suggestion is reinforced by the fact that x-ray diffractions are weak and ill defined. The mineral characteristically occurs in impure amorphous-to-cryptocrystalline crusts and masses with conchoidal fracture (see illustration).
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