Scientific Name: Variety of Chalcotrichite

Group: Oxides

Chemical composition: Cu2O

Colors: Shades of red to nearly black

Hardness: 3.5 to 4

Formation: Cubic crystals; Octahedral form

Principal Sources: Namibia, Australia, Russia, France, USA

Special Notes: Cuprite frequently occurs in association with native copper, azurite, chrysocolla, malachite, tenorite and a variety of iron oxide minerals. It is known as ruby copper due to its distinctive red color. It is a secondary mineral which forms in the oxidized zone of copper sulfide deposits. Cuprite was first described in 1845 and the name derives from the Latin cuprum for its copper content.