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Blue quetzalcoatlite on quartz from the Bambollita Mine (Oriental Mine), Moctezuma, Mun. de Moctezuma, Sonora, Mexico. Picture width 2 mm.
CategoryOxide mineral
(repeating unit)
Zn6Cu3(TeO6)2(OH)6 · AgxPbyClx+2y
Strunz classification4.FE.45
Dana classification34.6.3.1
Crystal systemTrigonal
Crystal classHexagonal scalenohedral (3m)
H-M symbol: (3 2/m)
Space groupP3m1
ColorBlue, green in transmitted light
Crystal habitneedle-like hexagonal crystals, crystalline crusts, sprays
CleavageFair on {1010}
Mohs scale hardness3
LusterPearly, dull
StreakPale blue, almost white
Specific gravity6.05 (measured)
Optical propertiesUniaxial (-)
Birefringenceδ = 0.062
Ultraviolet fluorescenceNone
SolubilityInsoluble in water, soluble in cold HCl and cold HNO3. Decomposes in KOH when heated

Quetzalcoatlite is a rare tellurium oxysalt mineral with the formula Zn6Cu3(TeO6)2(OH)6 · AgxPbyClx+2y. It also contains large amounts of silver- and lead(II)chloride with the formula AgxPbyClx+2y (x+y≤2).[1] It has a Moh's hardness of 3 and it crystallizes in the trigonal system. It has a deep blue color. It was named after Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec and Toltec god of the sea, alluding to its color.[2][3][4] It is not to be confused with tlalocite, which has a similar color and habit.


Quetzalcoatlite was first identified in the Bambollita mine (La Oriental), Moctezuma, Municipio de Moctezuma, Sonora, Mexico. It was later also found in another nearby mine, the Moctezuma mine, and it has also been found in mines in Arizona, Utah and California.[2] It occurs as a rare mineral in the oxidized zone of tellurium-bearing hydrothermal deposits and it is often associated with hessite, galena, bornite, cerussite, azurite, chlorargyrite, teineite, quartz, baryte, khinite, dugganite, and gold.[5]


  1. ^ Peter C. Burns; Joseph J. Pluth; Joseph V. Smith; Peter Eng; Ian Steele; Robert M. Housley (2000). "Quetzalcoatlite: A new octahedral-tetrahedral structure from a 2 × 2 × 40 µm3 crystal at the Advanced Photon Source-GSE-CARS Facility" (PDF). American Mineralogist. 85.
  2. ^ a b "Quetzalcoatlite: Quetzalcoatlite mineral information and data". www.mindat.org. Retrieved 2016-09-20.
  3. ^ Barthelmy, Dave. "Quetzalcoatlite Mineral Data". webmineral.com. Retrieved 2016-09-20.
  4. ^ Williams, Sidney A. (1973). "Quetzalcoatlite, Cu4Zn8(TeO3)3(OH)18, a new mineral from Moctezuma, Sonora" (PDF). Mineralogical Magazine. 39 (303). doi:10.1180/minmag.1973.039.303.01. Retrieved 2016-09-20.
  5. ^ "Handbook of mineralogy" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-09-20.