Dark blue hexagonal crystals or black powder composed of copper sulfide. Covellite was named for Niccolo Covelli after he discovered the mineral at Vesuvius in the early 19th century. Copper sulfide was probably used as a black pigment in antiquity (Orna et al 1980). It is currently used in antifouling paints and in textile dying with aniline black.
Synonyms and Related Terms
copper sulfide; covelliet (Ned.)
Hexagonal crystals. Cleavage is perfect in one direction. Fracture = uneven. Luster = submetallic. Streak = gray to black
|Mohs Hardness||1.5 - 2.0|
Hazards and Safety
Unstable in air.
° M.V.Orna, M.J.D.Low, N.S.Baer, "Synthetic Blue Pigments: Ninth to Sixteenth Centuries. I. Literature" Studies in Conservation, 25:53-63, 1980.
° Mineralogy Database: Covellite
Sources Checked for Data in Record
- C.W.Chesterman, K.E.Lowe, Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1979
- Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, at http://www.wikipedia.com Comment: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covellite (Accessed Sept. 7, 2005)