Chrysocolla is one of the Peruvian flagship minerals for jewelry and decor-products. It is a minor ore of copper that forms in the superficial oxidation zones of copper ore bodies and is mined in the Peruvian desert and on the western slopes of the Andes where artisan miners search for the greenish coloration in the desert sand indicating the presence of chrysocolla. By then digging into the depth and following the chrysocolla veins miners might then eventually find copper bodies. There is however, a number of miners being specialized on chrysocolla mining itself.
Chrysocolla itself has a cyan (blue-green) color. The interesting fact however is, that chrysocolla veins are in fact never pure chrysocolla but rather consist of a mixture of this mineral with a number of others. We find it mixed mostly with:
- Cuprite – an oxide mineral composed of copper oxide Cu2O, and is a minor ore of copper. It is dark red to cochineal red, sometimes almost black.
- Malachite – a green copper carbonate hydroxide mineral.
- Tenorite – dull grey-black.
- Quartz – The white milk quartz or milky quartz is the most common variety of crystalline quartz.
- Lemonite – yellow
- Azurite – a soft, deep-blue copper mineral
Even if a material is called “Chrysocolla”, most likely the real Chrysocolla mineral itself only makes up for a small percentage within the mix of minerals.
Generally spoken: The higher the concentration of real Chrysocolla in the mixed vein (means the more uniform cyan its color) the more costly is the rough rock. Pure cyan coloured chrysocolla pieces are generally used for jewelry only because they are small and very expensive.
Also, the more chrysocolla is in the mix, the harder it is to cut as the chrysocolla itself is very soft and easily breaks and chips.
Currently Peru is in a Chrysocolla Crisis. Because of the war in Ukraine (making bullets requires copper) and other global effects, the copper price has risen so sharply that miners do not any longer extract chrysocolla. Actually they rather prefer to grind chrysocolla and sell it for copper extraction. This results of Chrysocolla having become very hard and expensive to source. Gemrocks reserves of Chrysocolla in stock are nearly depleated and we currently only have rough rock for small products. We recommend buying peruvian Quantum Cuatro as an alternative to chrysocolla.
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Gemrock Peru permanently acquires different variations of chrysocolla from different veins. We also will provide you with in-depth advice on each mineral combination and for what kind of product it can be used best.
Folowing are some chrysocolla types we are having on stock:
Chrysocolla forms botryoidal crystals. We are providing Chrysocolla crystals in specimen flats and as crystal surfaces for gemcutters.
A famous variety are the Quartz Crystals from Tentadora Mine, which are overgrown with Malachite and Chrysocolla crystals
This is the classic mix of chrysocolla, malachite, tenorite and a little cuprite, that was mined for many years in the Peruvian desert near Nazca city. It is well known and many clients wish to acquire it. However, sadly there are not many mines anymore producing this material as most of them have reached the copper-layer. The small amounts of this chrysocolla type, that are available, have become so expensive that the material can not be used for spheres or other products anymore and still deliver a commercially viable product.
We are still stocking some 150 kilos for our own jewelry production and are able to sell high quality rough and slabs to gemcutters. We also can still produce cabochons and worry stones from this stock.
Chrysocolla type: Water & Wine®
This amazing mix with a very blue chrysocolla and a wine-red matrix is the new chrysocolla which still does exist in considerable amounts and can be acquired for a reasonable price as rough material in order to be used for bigger decor pieces like spheres, hearts and other objects.
We are currently only offering small objects like worry stones, cabochons or our own jewelry made from this chrysocolla type. We are working on setting up our own mining project for this material and will then be able again to provide bigger products and considerable quantities. Stay in touch.
Chrysocolla type: Turquoise
Due to the mixture with lime this chrysocolla type looks very similar to turquoise. However the high content of lime makes this type of chrysocolla nearly impossible to polish.
We at Gemrock Peru do only work with high quality materials. From a total of 8 tons of this material we hand selected 100 kilos of consistent and polishable material and rejected the rest. From this amount we have only a few kilos left and therefore offer this material only for cabochons or jewelry.
Chrysocolla type: Mother Earth®
This is a type of boulder chrysocolla consisting of fine and pure crysocolla veins in brown rock material featuring a birds-view over a brown green landscape with blue lakes and rivers. An amazing material for cabs and jewelry. We are left with just a few kilos of this material in our stock and therefore currently offer this material only for cabuchons or in jewelry.
Peruvian Cuantum Cuatro
This is quartz mixed with chrysocolla and malachite. This vein was recently discovered in 2018 and still has a reasonable reserve to be exploited and replace classic Chrysocolla. There are big enough pieces available for any type of product.
However rough rock clients may be advised that this material is very dificult to cut, has a relatively high rate of breakage and requires some stabilization.
We at Gemrock Peru have learned to master this material and are happy to offer you finished products. In order to learn more, click here:
Partner with us and offer your clients environmentally friendly and carbon-neutral crystal products:
Products made with Chrysocolla
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Jewelry & Cabuchons
Do you need reliable high quality cutting services for a reasonable price? Are you looking for a service provider that is willing to develop new products according to your requirements? Would you like to get expert advice in order to improve your product? Do you wish for someone to optimize the process and get the most out of your rough? Just talk to us.