Chalcophyllite from the Ting Tang Mine, Carharrack, Cornwall, England. Photo by Rob Lavinsky
Category Arsenate minerals
Chemical formula

Cu18Al2(AsO4)4(SO4)3(OH)24·36(H2O)[1][2][3] or

Strunz classification 08.DF.30
Dana classification
Color Blue-green to emerald-green
Crystal habit Crystals platy and six-sided, also as rosettes, drusy, foliated or massive.
Crystal system Trigonal, 3 2/m[5] or 3 [2][3][4][6]
Twinning On {1010} as twin plane.
Cleavage Perfect on {0001}
Fracture Irregular
Mohs scale hardness 2
Luster Vitreous to subadamantine, pearly on {0001}
Streak Pale green
Diaphaneity Transparent to translucent
Specific gravity 2.67 to 2.69[3][4][6] or 2.4 to 2.66[5]
Optical properties Uniaxial (-)
Refractive index nω = 1.618 to 1.632, nε = 1.552 to 1.575
Pleochroism O blue-green, E almost colorless
Solubility Soluble in acids and in ammonia.
Other characteristics Can be partially dehydrated. Alters to chrysocolla. Nonfluorescent, not radioactive
References [3][4][5][6]

Chalcophyllite is a rare secondary copper arsenate mineral occurring in the oxidized zones of some arsenic-bearing copper deposits. It was first described from material collected in Germany. At one time chalcophyllite from Wheal Tamar in Cornwall, England, was called tamarite, but this name is now discredited[2] (not to be confused with the amphibole mineral taramite, which is quite different). At Wheal Gorland a specimen exhibiting partial replacement of liriconite, Cu2Al(AsO4)(OH)4.4(H2O), by chalcophyllite has been found.[2] The mineral is named from the Greek, chalco "copper" and fyllon, "leaf", in allusion to its composition and platy structure. It is a classic Cornish mineral that can be confused with tabular spangolite.



Two different formulae are quoted in the literature for chalcophyllite, Cu18Al2(AsO4)4(SO4)3(OH)24·36(H2O)[1][2][3] (molar mass 3098 g) and Cu18Al2(AsO4)3(SO4)3(OH)27·33(H2O)[4][5][6] (molar mass 2956 g). The difference reflects the fact that the water content varies at room temperature based on relative humidity.[4]

Unit cell

Chalcophyllite crystallizes in the trigonal crystal class, 3 2/m with space group R 3m[5] or 3 with space group R 3.[2][3][4][6] Some authors choose a unit cell with three formula units per cell (Z=3), and some a smaller unit cell with only 1.5 formula units per cell (Z=1.5). For the larger unit cell a = 10.77 Å, c = 57.5 Å, Z=3.[5][6][7] For the smaller unit cell c is only half as long, a = 10.756 Å, c = 28.678 Å, Z = 1.5.[3][4]

Crystal habit

Crystals are platy, six-sided and flattened perpendicular to the c crystal axis, and may be striated triangularly on these flattened faces. It may form rosettes, or be drusy, foliated or massive.[4]

Physical properties

Chalcophyllite from Lemhi County, Idaho

Cleavage is perfect perpendicular to the c crystal axis, and twinning occurs with {1010} as the twin plane. Fracture is irregular. The mineral is soft, with hardness only 2, the same as gypsum. Specific gravity is generally given in the range 2.67 to 2.69, but Webmineral has 2.4 to 2.66. Chalcophyllite is soluble in acids and in ammonia. It is not fluorescent, nor radioactive. The water content varies at room temperature based on relative humidity. Chalcophyllite alters to chrysocolla,[4] which is a copper-aluminium silicate with the formula (Cu,Al)2H2Si2O5(OH)4·n(H2O).

Optical properties

Many copper minerals are blue or green in color; chalcophyllite is blue-green to emerald-green, with a pale green streak and vitreous to subadamantine luster, pearly on {0001}. Crystals are transparent to translucent. It is uniaxial (-) with refractive indices nω = 1.618 to 1.632 and nε = 1.552 to 1.575. Indices of refraction vary markedly depending on the relative humidity since the water content varies at ambient temperature.[4] It is pleochroic with O blue-green and E almost colorless.


Chalcophyllite is an uncommon secondary mineral occurring in the oxidized zones of some arsenic-bearing hydrothermal copper deposits. Associated minerals include azurite, malachite, brochantite, chrysocolla, spangolite, connellite, cuprite, cyanotrichite, strashimirite, parnauite, lavendulan, cornubite, langite, clinoclase, pharmacosiderite and mansfieldite.[3] The type material is conserved at the Mining Academy, Freiberg, Germany.[3] Notable occurrences include the Majuba Hill Mine, Antelope District, Nevada, USA[2] and Cornwall, including Wheal Gorland, UK.

See also


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Rocks & Minerals (2009) 84-5: 434 to 440
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Handbook of Mineralogy
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Webmineral data
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Gaines et al(1997) Dana's New Mineralogy, Wiley
  7. ^ Corbett (1973) American Mineralogist 58: 792–793

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • chalcophyllite — noun A rare secondary copper arsenate mineral occurring in the oxidized zones of some arsenic bearing copper deposits …   Wiktionary

  • chalcophyllite — chal·co·phyl·lite …   English syllables

  • chalcophyllite — ˌkalkōˈfiˌlīt noun ( s) Etymology: German chalkophyllit, from chalk chalc + phyll + it ite : a highly basic arsenate and sulfate of copper and aluminum Cu18Al2(AsO4)3(SO4)3(OH)27.33H2O of various shades of green that occurs in tabular crystals or …   Useful english dictionary

  • Kupferglimmer — Chalkophyllit Chemische Formel Cu9Al[(OH)12|(SO4)1,5|(AsO4)2] • 18 H2O Mineralklasse Phosphate und Arsenate 8.DF.30 (8. Aufl. VII/D.20 50) (nach …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Chalkophyllit — Chalkophyllitstufe aus Cornwall, England Ausgestellt im Mineralogischen Museum Bonn Chemische Formel Cu9Al[(OH)12|(SO4)1,5|(AsO4)2] • 18 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • List of minerals C-E (complete) — It is currently not possible to have a complete list of minerals . The International Mineralogical Association is the international group that recognises new minerals and new mineral names, however minerals discovered before 1959 did not go… …   Wikipedia

  • Cyanotrichite — General Category Sulfate minerals Chemical formula Cu4Al2[(OH)12|SO4]·2H2O Strunz classification 07.DE.10 …   Wikipedia

  • Paris Green — Emerald green redirects here. For the color, see emerald (color). Paris Green Other names C.I. Pigment Green 21, Eme …   Wikipedia

  • Poldice — was a mining area in south west Cornwall, England, UK, between Twelveheads and St Day. Mining for tin had taken place since at least the 1500s, before the Poldice Valley became an important part of the Cornish mining boom of the 1800s, when… …   Wikipedia

  • BREITHAUPT — Johann August Friedrich Breithaupt Johann August Friedrich Breithaupt était un minéralogiste allemand né à Probstzella, en Allemagne, le 16 mai 1791 et mort à Freiberg, Allemagne le 22 Septembre 1873. Buste de Breithaupt à la Werner Bau de… …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.