Chessy Copper Mines, Chessy-les-Mines, Le Bois d'Oingt, Rhône, Rhône-Alpes, France
As mineral collectors know, a "Type Locality" is the first place associated with a formal, scientific, published description of a mineral. Although Azurite, has been known as a pigment and a source of Copper since the Bronze Ages or earlier, an actual investigation into its properties did not occur until 1824 using material from Chessy-les-Mines. Chessy was mined starting in the Middle Ages and continuing up until 1875, when the mines closed for good. Good specimens from the Chessy are now relatively rare and valued accordingly. This beautiful group of Azurite crystals up to .88 inch (2.2 cm) across, shows classic deep blue color with minor alteration of some of the Azurite to green Malachite. The waxy appearing luster is preserved even where the alteration has set in and as a proof of the specimens origin, there is a small pseudomorph of Azurite/Malachite after Cuprite, gracing an recess near the middle of the specimen. This specimen is in excellent condition, particularly considering the obvious age. This is a classic Azurite from a rarely represented locality and an uncommon opportunity for the serious collector.
Overall measurements: 3.43 x 1.9 x 1.75 inches (8.7 x 4.8 x 4.4 cm).
Provenance: Pala International [Hoppel # D1643]
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