Mineral Class: Carbonate
Crystal System: Monoclinic
Hardness: 3.5 - 4
Diaphaneity: Transparent to Translucent
Colors: Blue, Cream
Source: Australia, Chile, Egypt, France, Italy, Namibia, Peru, Russia, and USA
Azurite is a copper carbonate hydroxide mineral. It is best known for its characteristic deep blue to violet blue color. This mineral is produced by weathering copper ore deposits. While not a major ore of copper itself, the presence of Azurite is a good surface indicator of the presence of weathered copper sulfide ores. It is usually found in association with the chemically similar malachite, producing a striking color combination of deep blue and bright green that is strongly indicative of the presence of copper ores.
Azurite is not a common or abundant mineral, but it is beautiful and its blue color attracts attention. It has been used in jewelry by people in many parts of the world for thousands of years. Ancient people used it as a pigment, as a gemstone, and as an ornamental stone. It is still used for all of these purposes today. The background of Lady with a Squirrel by Hans Holbien the Younger was painted with Azurite. The bright blue colors of Azurite illustrate gorgeous imagery of the seas and the sky, resembling strength, cleanliness, and coolness.