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A common mineral composed of copper iron sulfide. Chalcopyrite has brassy yellow crystals with a metallic luster and greenish or purplish iridescence. Chalcopyrite is an important source for Copper and is mined in Canada (Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia), Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Japan (Ani), England (Cornwall), Germany (Saxony), France (Alsace), Spain (Rio Tinto) and the U.S. (Montana, Arizona, Utah, Tennessee, Missouri, Wisconsin).


Synonyms and Related Terms

copper pyrite; peacock ore; yellow copper; copper yellow; Chalcopyrit (Deut.); Chalkopyrit (Deut.); Kupferkies (Deut.); calcopirita (Esp.); chalcopyrite (Fr.); chalcopyriet (Ned.); calcopirite (Port.)

Raman (RRUFF)

Chalcopyrite Raman RRUFF R050018.png

Raman (U of Parma)


Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Tetragonal crystal system, often with repeated twinning.
  • Fracture = uneven, brittle.
  • Luster = metallic.
  • Streak =greenish-black.
  • Soluble in nitric acid.
  • Magnetic on heating
Composition CuFeS2
Mohs Hardness 3.5 - 4.0
Melting Point 950 C
Density 4.1-4.3 g/ml

Resources and Citations

  • Robert Fournier, Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Pottery, Chilton Book Company, Radnor, PA, 1992
  • C.W.Chesterman, K.E.Lowe, Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1979
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 231
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Susan E. Schur, Conservation Terminology: A review of Past & Current Nomenclature of Materials, Technology and Conservation, Spring (p.34-39); Summer (p.35-38); Fall (p.25-36), 1985
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998