Quartz azurite malachite pyrite
Virtual Museum ID: 19-StM09
Azurite forms by the weathering of other copper minerals. Copper ore minerals like chalcocite and bornite “rust” when they come into contact with oxygen in the air or groundwater. This causes their atomic structure to change to become brightly coloured azurite. Azurite is often found at the surface above buried copper deposits and is a useful clue for prospectors and geologists looking for new deposits.
Malachite is a green hydrous copper carbonate mineral that forms near the Earth's surface as other copper ore minerals, like bornite, are exposed to the atmosphere and weather, or oxidize. Malachite often forms as coatings on joints and fractures or in rock cavities. It often occurs in banded "botryoidal" masses. Botryoidal means is has an appearance similar to a bunch of grapes. Malachite commonly occurs with azurite, another secondary copper mineral that forms by weathering copper sulphides. Together, they are clues that more extensive copper mineralization might be nearby.
Pyrite is a common iron sulphide mineral found in many different geological settings. It has a brassy-yellow metallic colour that has caused many people to mistake it for gold, giving it the name “Fool’s gold”. Pyrite and gold can be quite easily distinguished from one another: pyrite is less yellow and much lighter and harder than gold, which can be scratched with a pocket knife. Pyrite often forms perfect cubes, which can grow to quite large sizes, because of its crystal structure. The word pyrite comes from the Greek word ‘pyr’ meaning fire, because it will spark if hit with other metal or stone objects.
The information listed below relates to the current holding location or collection that the sample is from, and whether the item is viewable at that location or is part of a private collection. Coordinates are given as guides, and we remind you that collecting specimens from these locations is not allowed. Caution is advised visiting such sites and Below BC assumes no responsibility for any injuries or trespassing charges that may occur as a result of the viewer entering these sites.
Original Collection:Stewart Museum (StM)
Virtual Museum ID:19-StM09
Date Added to VM:2019-08-15
Datum:09 (NAD 83)
Primary Features:Quartz azurite malachite pyrite
Primary Mineral Formula:SiO2 · CuFeS 2 · Cu2(CO3)(OH)2 · Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2 · FeS 2
Advanced Geological Information
The following section provides geological data relating to the specimen or the site it was collected from, when available. Information has been obtained from various sources including private and government datasets but may not be up to date. Any geological time periods or ages listed often relate to the primary geology of the area, and may not be the actual date of an event such as mineral formation.