Azurite

Azurite is a soft, deep-blue copper mineral produced by weathering of copper ore deposits. During the early 19th century, it was also known as chessylite, after the type locality at Chessy-les-Mines near Lyon, France.

The mineral has been known since ancient times, and was mentioned in Pliny the Elder’s Natural History under the Greek name kuanos (“deep blue”, root of English cyan) and the Latin name caeruleum. Since antiquity, azurite’s exceptionally deep and clear blue has been associated with low-humidity desert and winter skies.

The modern English name of the mineral reflects this association, since both azurite and azure are derived via Arabic from the Persian lazhward, an area known for its deposits of another deep-blue stone, lapis lazuli (“stone of azure”).

Azurite Metaphysical Properties

The frequency of Azurite connects to the third eye and crown chakras. It opens and clears these chakras helping to increase one’s psychic abilities, inner vision, insight, and intuition.

This crystal assists one in accessing knowledge and understanding the lessons obtained from past lives. It allows one to “feel” the truth within situations and to be truthful to oneself.

This lovely blue crystal stimulates the third eye and crown chakras which helps with one’s intellect and with the assimilation and retention of information, ideas, or concepts. It helps one to remain mentally focussed and brings clarity to one’s thoughts during study or other “mind-centered” activities.

The energy of Azurite can help with issues of the brain and head, such as migraines, vertigo, and tinnitus.

Associated Chakras

  • Third Eye
  • Crown

Physical Ailment

  • Brain Disorders
  • Migraine
  • Tinnitus
  • Vertigo

Emotional Issue

  • Falsehood
  • Truth – Emotional

Spiritual Connection

  • Inner Vision
  • Insight
  • Intuition
  • Psychic Ability

Azurite Pigments

Azurite is unstable in air, however it was used as a blue pigment in antiquity. Azurite is naturally occurring in Sinai and the Eastern Desert of Egypt. It was reported by F. C. J. Spurrell (1895) in the following examples; a shell used as a pallet in a Fourth Dynasty (2613 to 2494 BCE) context in Meidum, a cloth over the face of a Fifth Dynasty (2494 to 2345 BCE) mummy also at Meidum and a number of Eighteenth Dynasty (1543-1292 BCE) wall paintings.

Depending on the degree of fineness to which it was ground, and its basic content of copper carbonate, it gave a wide range of blues. It has been known as mountain blue or Armenian stone, in addition it was formerly known as Azurro Della Magna (from Italian). When mixed with oil it turns slightly green. When mixed with egg yolk it turns green-grey. It is also known by the names blue bice and blue verditer, though verditer usually refers to a pigment made by chemical process. Older examples of azurite pigment may show a more greenish tint due to weathering into malachite. Much azurite was mislabeled lapis lazuli, a term applied to many blue pigments. As chemical analysis of paintings from the Middle Ages improves, azurite is being recognized as a major source of the blues used by medieval painters.

Lapis lazuli (the pigment ultramarine) was chiefly supplied from Afghanistan during the Middle Ages, whereas azurite was a common mineral in Europe at the time. Sizable deposits were found near Lyons, France. It was mined since the 12th century in Saxony, in the silver mines located there.

Heating can be used to distinguish azurite from purified natural ultramarine blue, a more expensive but more stable blue pigment, as described by Cennino D’Andrea Cennini. Ultramarine withstands heat, whereas azurite converts to black copper oxide. However, gentle heating of azurite produces a deep blue pigment used in Japanese painting techniques.

Azurite History

The use of azurite and malachite as copper ore indicators led indirectly to the name of the element nickel in the English language. Nickeline, a principal ore of nickel that is also known as niccolite, weathers at the surface into a green mineral (annabergite) that resembles malachite. This resemblance resulted in occasional attempts to smelt nickeline in the belief that it was copper ore, but such attempts always ended in failure due to high smelting temperatures needed to reduce nickel. In Germany this deceptive mineral came to be known as kupfernickel, literally “copper demon”.

The Swedish alchemist Baron Axel Fredrik Cronstedt (who had been trained by Georg Brandt, the discoverer of the nickel-like metal cobalt) realized that there was probably a new metal hiding within the kupfernickel ore, and in 1751 he succeeded in smelting kupfernickel to produce a previously unknown (except in certain meteorites) silvery white, iron-like metal. Logically, Cronstedt named his new metal after the nickel part of kupfernickel.

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