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Mineral Properties and Uses

What is Cuprite?

Cuprite is a supergene copper oxide mineral found in the oxidized zone of copper deposits. It is a minor ore of copper.

Physical Properties of Cuprite

Chemical Classification oxide
Color various shades of red, sometimes nearly black
Streak brownish red
Luster submetallic to adamantine
Diaphaneity subtranslucent
Cleavage none
Mohs Hardness 3.5 to 4
Specific Gravity 5.8 to 6.1
Diagnostic Properties color, streak, luster
Chemical Composition copper oxide, Cu2O
Crystal System isometric
Uses ore of copper

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Cuprite with chrysocolla from Butte, Montana. This specimen is approximately 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) across.

Chalcotrichite, a variety of cuprite from Bisbee, Arizona. This specimen is approximately 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) across.

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