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Chrysocolla

Chrysocolla

Arizona is known for its copper, which make it a great source for all things copper related. And about the only definition that can be applied to chrysocolla is that it is copper in some form of oxidized state. Truth be told, just about anything that is blue-green in color, and isn't identified as turquoise or malachite or azurite, tends to get classified as chrysocolla. The spectrum of chrysocolla spans from the common chalky stuff to hard and rare gem silica.

Chrysocolla has kept me up many nights trying to figure out how to make it cab-able. I have a tidy pile of the stuff and the color absolutely haunts me. Vivid blues and greens that would simply make dazzling jewelry... if I could cut it without it falling apart.

Stabilization is the art/science of injecting a softer stone with epoxy or resins, which is essential for cutting material such as chrysocolla. I've tried several stabilization methods with varied results, certainly nothing that works every time. I've tried Opticon, acetone/epoxy, sodium silicate, and even built a bell jar and vacuum pump to 'suck' the stuff into the stone. However, I've found nothing that makes me yell, 'Eureka!' I'm told 'the experts' have closely guarded secrets and patent pending stabilizing methods they won't share. It's nice to share.

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