• Register

Information for users from the old Q&A site
If you have an account from our old Q&A site, your account was transferred over, but you need to reset your password and confirm your email address.
Reset Password here
Confirm Email here

2,144 questions

3,752 answers


17,654 users

How would you protect/preserve Chalcanthite in North Texas?

0 votes
For Dry areas I have seen the suggestion of placing a small container with a sponge and a few drops of water in the same container that holds your mineral, thuspreventing white patches caused by dehydration. Some people suggest adding a dessicant to the container (not touching your mineral) for humid areas.  The final recommendation I have come across is rubbing mineral oil or sealing the mineral in laquer.   I live in North Texas (about 40 miles North of Dallas).  North Texas kind of gets all kinds of weather, heat and humidity.  My home stays at about 76-78F year round.  Any suggestions from Texans or former Texans would be greatly appreciated. The specimens in question are "veiny" configuration and "cluster" form.
asked Mar 29, 2016 by RockNewbie (190 points)

1 Answer

+1 vote

Curved Chalcanthite Crystals


Natural Chalcanthite crystals are very rare in nature. Well-formed crystals are easily grown synthetically from copper sulfate solutions. This can be done by dissolving a readily available chemical salt called copper sulfate, and then letting the water evaporate. This leaves behind a crystallized mass of Chalcanthite which can crystallize beautifully if grown properly. If a Chalcanthite crystal looks to good to be natural, it probably is, as good natural crystals are very hard to come accross. Unscrupulous mineral dealers have been known to sell large, synthetic Chalcanthite specimens without indicating that they are not natural. 

Chalcanthite generally forms in arid regions and dry caves which are protected from moisture. It commonly forms stalactitic and botryoidal growths on the walls and ceilings of mine tunnels from the oxidation of copper sulfide minerals. Chalcanthite specimens must be kept away from water and moist conditions, since a chemical effect with water causes them to eventually crumble or dissolve. Some collectors specimens are coated with mineral oil and sprayed with laquer to seal the mineral and prevent it from absorbing water.

Chalcanthite is a very fragile mineral, and care should be taken when handling any specimen.

- See more at: http://www.minerals.net/mineral/chalcanthite.aspx#sthash.5w39f8DJ.dpuf

answered Apr 1, 2016 by Weasel (55,650 points)
Thank You for your insight.  Do you know if there are any articles or links to directions for the procedure of coating in mineral oil and spraying with lacquer? I had run across the same statements on a google search, but could not find any actual notes by someone who undertook this process with their specimens.  Do you know of anyone I could ask?  One of the rock shops in the area also told me that the pieces of Chalcanthite they have (lab grown) have never been treated and are about 6 years old.  They have their pieces in a simple glass case.  I'd love to leave the 2 pieces untreated, but also fear them breaking down without sealing them.  Decisions, Decisions.

Related questions