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Lustrous Striated Enargite Crystal

The Mineral enargite

Enargite is a sulfosalt mineral that is an import ore of copper. Crystals are sometimes coated with a thin layer of Pyrite crystals, giving it a yellow appearance. Enargite is dimorphous with the mineral Luzonite, which forms in tetragonal crystals. Luzonite and Enargite sometimes form together in single altering crystals with different symmetry and cleavage habits.

Enargite is named for the Greek word enargos, meaning "distinct, in reference to its distinctive perfect cleavage.
Chemical Formula Cu3AsS4
Composition Copper arsenic sulfide
Variable Formula Cu3(As,Sb)S4
Color Steel Gray to black. May also be iridescent with a dark red or violet metallic film, or may have a dull gray tarnish.
Streak Dark gray to black
Hardness 3
Crystal System Orthorhombic
3D Crystal Atlas
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Crystal Forms
and Aggregates
In prismatic and tabular crystals, with flattened, rectangular terminations or with chisel-tipped terminations that may be somewhat rounded. Crystals may be individual, interconnected, in flowering groups of crystals, and in rounded crystal masses. Also columnar, bladed, drusy, grainy, and massive. Crystals are often deeply striated.
Transparency Opaque
Specific Gravity 4.4 - 4.5
Luster Metallic
Cleavage 1,1 ; 2,2
Fracture Uneven
Tenacity Brittle
In Group Sulfides; Sulfosalts
Striking Features Color, crystal habits, and perfect cleavage
Environment In low to moderate grade hydrothermal and epithermal vein deposits.
Rock Type Sedimentary, Metamorphic
Popularity (1-4) 2
Prevalence (1-3) 2
Demand (1-3) 3



Enargite is a significant ore of copper. 

Peru has produced some of the largest Enargite crystals, in a wide range of different localities. These include the Quiruvilca Mine, La Libertad Department; the Julcani Mine, Huancavelica Department; Casapalca, Lima Department; and the Morococha District, Junín Department. Other important worldwide localities include the Jinguashi Mine, Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan; and the Furtei Mine, Medio Campidano, Sardinia, Italy.

In the U.S., the premier locality for Enargite is the Butte District, Silver Bow Co., Montana, especially at the Leonard Mine and the East Colusa Mine. Good crystals have also from the Bingham Canyon Mine, Salt Lake Co., Utah; and from the Longfellow Mine, Red Mountain District, San Juan Co., Colorado.

Pyrite, Quartz, Chalcopyrite, Galena, Sphalerite, Barite, Covellite

Manganite - Greater hardness, has reddish streak.
Tetrahedrite and Tennantite - Form in different crystal habits.

enargite PHOTOS
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