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Chrysocolla is a gemstone quality hydrous copper silicate, often forming with copper salts, iron and manganese oxides. Chrysocolla is known to form in oxidation zones of copper ore bodies and is actually considered a minor ore for the mineral copper. Although chrysocolla may be a 'lesser known' gemstone, it is still a very fascinating stone that is highly sought-after by many avid gem and mineral enthusiasts. Chrysocolla is especially prized for its attractive colors and unique multicolored patterns. The name 'chrysocolla' was derived from the Greek words 'chrysos' and 'kolla' which translate as 'gold' and 'glue'. It earned its name because it was often used as a gold soldering agent, but eventually, the term evolved into a generic name essentially referring to any green copper-bearing mineral.
Chrysocolla belongs to a very small group of copper-bearing gems which also includes malachite, azurite, Larimar, Oregon sunstone, Paraiba tourmaline andturquoise. Chrysocolla is most famous for its alluring, vivid blue to green cyan color, which is owed to the presence of copper impurities. Chrysocolla is often confused with turquoise and azurite, owing to their shared visual similarities of color and luster. Chrysocolla commonly forms with other copper-bearing minerals, which results in very interesting and unique mixes of different colors and mottled patterns. Some of the more common mineral mixtures include blue azurite (which chrysocolla often psuedomorphs with), green malachite and turquoise.
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