Vibrant Blue Azurite Sun Cluster on Siltstone - Australia

 
 
This is a cluster of nine, vibrant blue azurite sun on a kaolinitic siltstone/sandstone matrix. The entire rock measures 3.9x3.4" with the larger suns being about 1/2" wide.

It was collected from the Malbunka Copper Mine in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Azurite is a deep blue copper-based mineral produced by the oxidation of copper ore deposits. Azurite suns are a unique formation of this mineral only found in a single mine, the Malbunka Copper Mine in Australia. These suns form between layers of a clay mineral called kaolinite (the white matrix the suns are on).

They are thought to have been formed by hydrothermal fluids carrying copper ions through the bedding planes in the rock formation. Carbonate molecules and copper ions in the groundwater nucleated around mineral grains in the kaolinite, which resulted in crystallization of the azurite. Because the azurite was forced to grow in a laterally-compressed and radiating manner along preferred bedding planes, the azurite grew uniformly outward, often producing circular shapes.
DETAILS
SPECIES
Azurite
LOCATION
Malbunka Copper Mine, Utju, Northern Territory, Australia
SIZE
Rock 3.9x3.4", Suns About 1/2" wide
CATEGORY
SUB CATEGORY
ITEM
#155547