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Libethenite, Wheal Phoenix, Linkinhorne, Cornwall, England. Size: 5.0 x 4.9 x 2.8 cm.
Category Phosphate minerals
(repeating unit)
Strunz classification 8.BB.30
Crystal system Orthorhombic
Dipyramidal class
Color Light to dark green, blackish green, olive-green
Crystal habit Globular, druzy, slender prismatic
Crystal symmetry Orthorhombic
H-M symbol: (2/m 2/m 2/m)
Space group: Pnnm
Cleavage Indistinct on [100] and [010]
Fracture Irregular, uneven to conchoidal
Tenacity Brittle
Mohs scale hardness 4
Luster Vitreous, greasy
Streak light green
Specific gravity 3.6 - 4, Average = 3.8
Optical properties Biaxial (-)
Refractive index nα = 1.701 - 1.704 nβ = 1.743 - 1.747 nγ = 1.787 - 1.790
References [1][2]

Libethenite is a rare copper phosphate hydroxide mineral. It forms striking, dark green orthorhombic crystals. It was discovered in 1823 in Ľubietová, Slovakia and is named after the German name of that locality (Libethen).[1][2]


Detail of gemmy, emerald-green, orthorhombic libethenite microcrystals on malachite, from the type locality, Ľubietová, Slovakia. See File:Libethenite-258236.jpg for the full specimen.