.9" Banded Chrysocolla and Malachite Cabochon Pair

This is a gorgeous pair of colorful, .9" tall, banded chrysocolla and malachite oval cabochons. The material was collected from the Bagdad Copper Mine in Yavapai County, Arizona. It has been polished to a glossy finish and backed with a thin layer of black agate for stability. These cabochons would be perfect for jewelry making, primarily for earrings as they are a matched pair.

The Bagdad Mine is located in Yavapai County, Arizona and has mined copper since its discovery in 1882. It is one of the highest producing copper reserves on the planet, yielding upwards of 170 million pounds annually. The mine also produces significant amounts of molybdenum of which they are capable of leeching nearly 75,000 metric tons of material daily. Mineral byproducts of this mine include chalcopyrite, azurite, malachite, and chrysocolla.

Although Bagdad Mine is one of the largest copper deposits in the world, it also produces absolutely breathtaking chrysocolla specimens. Our phenomenal specimens are typically a banded aggregation of chrysocolla, malachite and quartz crystals. These minerals form in the oxidation zones over the large copper deposits that are actively mined for the increasingly important metal. What this equates to is that many of these stunning minerals are thrown away in the overburden during the ore extraction process.

Given that chrysocolla is a secondary mineral that will form over other secondary, copper-based minerals, it is unsurprising that most chrysocolla coming out of Bagdad is in close association with malachite. Both minerals commonly form in fibrous arrays and botryoidal masses that layer nicely over other minerals. Chrysocolla is often an electric blue color whereas malachite tends to be a deep, teal color. This accounts for the wacky blue-green-teal banding patterns that are typical of copper-based minerals. The addition of quartz increases the visual appeal of these specimens, as the crystal habit and clear coloring of quartz creates contrast with the butter-smooth green banding.
Chrysocolla & Malachite
Bagdad Copper Mine, Yavapai County, Arizona
.9 x .5" each