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Olivenite

OLIVENITE, a mineral consisting of basic copper arsenate with the formula Cu2(OH)As04. It crystallizes in the orthorhombic system, and is sometimes found in small brilliant crystals of simple prismatic habit terminated by domal faces. More usually, however, it occurs as globular aggregates of acicular crystals, these fibrous forms often having a velvety lustre: sometimes it is lamellar in structure, or soft and earthy. A characteristic feature, and one to which thenameaUudes (German, Olivenerz, of A. G. Werner, 1789), is the oUve-green colour, which varies in shade from blackish-green in the crystals to almost white in the finely fibrous variety known as " woodcopper." The hardness is 3, and the sp. gr. 4-3. The mineral was formerly found in some abundance, associated with Umonite and quartz, in the upper workings in the copper mines of the St Day district in Cornwall; also near Redruth, and in the Tintic district in Utah. It is a mineral of secondary origin, having been formed by the alteration of copper ores and mispickel.

The arsenic of oUvenite is sometimes partly replaced by a small amount of phosphorus, and in the species libethenite we have the corresponding basic copper phosphate Cu2(OH)PO4. This is found as small dark green crystals resembling ohvenite at Libethen in Hungary, and in small amount also in Cornwall. Other members of this isomorphous group of minerals are adamite, Zn2(OH)AsO4, and descloizite (q.v.). (L. J. S.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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