Chem Explorers

The Captivating Beauty and Healing Powers of Atacamite: A Green Gem From Chile

Atacamite: The Green-Colored Halide Mineral of the Atacama Desert in Chile

When one hears the word “Atacamite,” the image that immediately comes to mind is that of a stunning green mineral found in the Atacama Desert of Chile. This mineral, with its stunning emerald color, is a popular choice for collectors and mineral enthusiasts from all over the world.

Atacamite History:

The story of Atacamite begins with its discovery in the Atacama Region of Chile.

The mineral was first discovered in the early 1800s by a French mineralogist named D. de Gallizen.

The discovery occurred during the age of mineralogy, when scientists were actively exploring and cataloguing minerals from different parts of the world. At the time of its discovery, Atacamite was not well known, and it wasn’t until the early 20th century that the mineral gained significant attention.

Today, Atacamite is considered one of the most significant mineral discoveries of the last century.

Atacamite Properties:

Atacamite is a copper chloride hydroxide mineral that can be found in a range of colors, though it is perhaps best known for its vibrant green hue.

The mineral is found in arid and semi-arid regions, often in the company of copper minerals. Atacamite is known for its excellent transparency and deep green color, which is usually due to its copper content.

The mineral has a Mohs hardness of 3.5 to 4, making it relatively easy to scratch. It has a luster that ranges from vitreous to resinous, and it is commonly found as small-to-medium sized crystals in granular aggregates.

Atacamite Uses:

Atacamite has a few uses, although it is mostly valued for its esthetic properties. Collectors and mineral enthusiasts prize Atacamite for its stunning green color and crystal formations.

Due to its rarity and limited availability, Atacamite is often considered a valuable addition to any mineral collection. In addition to its esthetic properties, Atacamite also has some industrial uses.

Copper minerals such as Atacamite are often used to produce copper metal and various copper compounds.

Atacamite Synonyms:

Atacamite has several synonyms, which can be useful for identifying it in different contexts. The following are some of the most common synonyms of Atacamite:

  1. ICSD 61252: This is a reference code for Atacamite in the Inorganic Crystal Structure Database (ICSD). The ICSD is a database of crystal structures that can be accessed by researchers and mineralogists.
  2. PDF 25-269: This is another reference code for Atacamite, specifically in the Powder Diffraction File (PDF). This database contains information on the powder diffraction patterns of materials, which can be used to identify them.
  3. Paratacamite: This is a synonym for Atacamite that is often used interchangeably. Paratacamite is a polymorph of Atacamite, which means that it has the same chemical composition but a different crystal structure.

Atacamite Composition:

Atacamite is a copper (II) chloride hydroxide mineral with the chemical formula Cu2Cl(OH)3. It is a polymorphic crystal, meaning that it exists in two or more different crystal structures.

The crystal system for Atacamite is orthorhombic, and its space group is Pnma. Atacamite is often associated with other copper minerals, such as cuprite, chrysocolla, and malachite.

In addition to being a mineral, Atacamite can also be used as an ore of copper. Copper is an essential metal that is used in a range of applications, including electrical wiring, pipes, and alloys.

Atacamite, along with other copper minerals, can be extracted from the ground and processed to produce copper metal and various copper compounds. Atacamite is made up of two copper ions (Cu2+) and three ions of chloride (Cl-) and hydroxide (OH-) each.

In terms of structure, Atacamite is characterized by layers of Cu(OH)3 octahedra, which are held together by Cu(Cl,OH)4 tetrahedra. These layers form a structure that resembles a sandwich, with the Cu(OH)3 layers serving as the “bread” and the Cu(Cl,OH)4 layers acting as the “filling.”

Atacamite has a bright green color, which is due to the presence of copper in its chemical makeup.

When light enters the crystal, it is absorbed by the copper ions, which then release energy in the form of visible light. The exact shade of green can vary depending on the concentration of copper within the crystal and the overall crystal structure.


Atacamite is a unique mineral with a fascinating history and a range of properties that make it valuable in both scientific and practical applications. Its bright green color and distinctive crystal structure have captivated mineral enthusiasts and collectors for centuries.

Furthermore, Atacamite’s copper content makes it an important ore of copper, which is essential for many modern technologies. By understanding the synonyms and composition of Atacamite, we can gain deeper insights into this remarkable mineral and the world around us.

Physical and Chemical Properties of Atacamite:

Chemical Properties of Atacamite:

The chemical formula of Atacamite is Cu2Cl(OH)3, and its molecular weight is 223.54 g/mol.

Atacamite has a relatively high electron density of 5.88 g/cm^3, which indicates that it has a high concentration of electrons. This property makes Atacamite useful in various scientific applications, such as X-ray crystallography and electron microscopy.

Physical Properties of Atacamite:

Atacamite has a density of 3.77 g/cm^3, which is relatively high compared to other minerals. It has a bright green color when in crystal form, although the color may vary depending on the concentration of copper and other impurities.

The streak of Atacamite is green, and it has a hardness of 3.5 to 4 on the Mohs scale, making it relatively soft and easy to scratch. Atacamite has a vitreous to resinous luster, and it is relatively transparent.

It has a specific gravity of 3.78, which means that it is 3.78 times as dense as water. Atacamite has a moderate tenacity, meaning that it is not particularly brittle or malleable.

It does not exhibit pleochroism, meaning that it does not show different colors in different directions. Atacamite is not radioactive, and it does not exhibit luminescence.

Crystal Structure of Atacamite:

Atacamite has an orthorhombic crystal system, meaning that its crystal structure is characterized by three perpendicular axes of different lengths. The crystal patterns of Atacamite are often prismatic or acicular, and the crystals are usually small to medium-sized.

Atacamite has a good cleavage, meaning that it can be split along planes that are parallel to its crystal structure. Its fracture is conchoidal, meaning that it breaks with smooth, curved surfaces.

Atacamite has a vitreous to resinous luster, which means that it has a glossy or waxy appearance. The transparency of Atacamite ranges from transparent to translucent, and its crystal formations are often sharp and well-defined.


In conclusion, Atacamite is a remarkable mineral with several unique physical and chemical properties. Its chemical formula, molecular weight, and electron density make it useful in various scientific applications, while its density, color, hardness, and luster make it a valuable addition to any mineral collection.

Atacamite’s orthorhombic crystal structure, cleavage, and fracture characteristics make it an important mineral for crystallographers and geologists. By understanding the physical and chemical properties of Atacamite, we can gain a deeper appreciation for this beautiful and intriguing mineral.

Occurrence of Atacamite:

Atacamite is commonly found in the Atacama Desert of Chile, where it was first discovered. However, it has also been found in other parts of the world, including Wallaroo, Australia, Pinal County, Arizona, Namibia, the UK, Mexico, Mt. Vesuvius, Italy, and Lily mine, Peru.

Uses of Atacamite:

Healing Properties of Atacamite:

Atacamite is believed to have healing properties that can affect the thymus gland, the immune system, and the heart chakra energy.

Atacamite can also help with the throat chakra and issues pertaining to self-expression, communication, confidence, self-motivation, thyroid gland, and independence.

Spiritual Properties of Atacamite:

Atacamite is considered a meta-physical stone that can aid with meditation, pineal gland, third eye, psychic visualization, and clairaudient and clairvoyant abilities.

Atacamite has protective properties against negative energies by bringing love, light, and flow of energy in a person’s life.

Health Properties of Atacamite:

Atacamite is said to help with the sacral chakra and aid in kidney elimination, fear-based toxins, creativity, unconditional love, altruism, and reproductive organs.

Jewelry-making with Atacamite: Atacamite’s aesthetic beauty and healing properties make it a popular choice among jewelry makers. It is often used as a centerpiece in jewelry and is a popular mineral specimen for collectors.

Additionally, Atacamite is a minor ore of copper and is extracted and used for various industrial purposes.


To sum up, Atacamite is a valuable mineral with a range of uses. Its aesthetic properties make it a popular material for jewelry-making and mineral specimens.

Its healing properties have been utilized in alternative medicine practices to help address issues related to immune system and chakra energy. Furthermore, Atacamite’s spiritual properties make it important in meditation practices and psychic visualization.

Lastly, its health properties have been utilized in addressing health issues related to the sacral chakra and kidney elimination. Atacamite’s versatility and properties make it a unique and valuable addition to our list of minerals.

Sale of Atacamite:

For those who are interested in acquiring Atacamite, there are several avenues to explore. Various shops specializing in minerals and crystals often carry Atacamite in their inventory.

These shops can be found in various locations, including New Age shops and metaphysical stores. In addition to physical stores, there are numerous online shops that offer Atacamite for sale.

These online platforms provide the convenience of purchasing Atacamite from the comfort of one’s home, with the added benefit of having access to a wider range of choices from various sellers. The price of Atacamite can vary depending on factors such as size, purity, and rarity.

Generally, larger and purer specimens of Atacamite tend to command higher prices. The rarity of Atacamite also contributes to its price, as less common varieties are often priced higher due to their scarcity.

It is important for potential buyers to research and compare prices from different sellers to ensure they are getting a fair deal.

Atacamite Images:

Words alone cannot fully capture the visual allure of Atacamite.

Its prismatic crystal formations, vibrant green color, and unique appearance make it a truly captivating mineral. Images of Atacamite can provide a glimpse into its beauty, allowing individuals to appreciate its visual impact.

One of the most striking features of Atacamite is its deep, emerald green color. This rich hue is a result of the mineral’s copper content and can vary in intensity depending on the concentration of copper and other impurities.

Atacamite’s crystals possess an elegant geometric structure, often forming long, slender prisms that can be transparent or translucent. The contrast between the lush green crystals and the surrounding matrix or host rock creates a visually stunning display.

The rarity of Atacamite adds to its desirability and makes it an indispensable item for collectors of crystals and minerals. Images of these specimens give collectors and enthusiasts the opportunity to appreciate the unique aesthetics of Atacamite without physically owning the mineral.

Such images can be found in various online galleries, websites, and social media platforms dedicated to showcasing minerals and crystals. Beyond its visual appeal, Atacamite images can also highlight the healing properties associated with the mineral.

By focusing on specific features and characteristics, such as its color and crystal formations, these images can evoke a sense of serenity and connection with nature. This visual stimulation combined with knowledge of Atacamite’s reputed healing properties can inspire individuals to explore its potential benefits for themselves.


In summary, Atacamite for sale can be found in various physical and online shops specializing in minerals and crystals. The price of Atacamite can vary depending on size, purity, and rarity.

For those unable to acquire physical specimens, images of Atacamite serve as a window into its captivating visual allure. These images showcase its vibrant green color and elegant crystal formations, captivating the eyes and inspiring a deeper appreciation for this remarkable mineral.

Whether for collectors, enthusiasts, or those seeking its healing properties, Atacamite images provide a glimpse into the beauty and fascination of this unique mineral.


  1. Where can Atacamite be purchased? Atacamite can be purchased from physical shops specializing in minerals and crystals, as well as online platforms.
  2. What factors affect the price of Atacamite? The price of Atacamite is influenced by factors such as size, purity, and rarity.
  3. What are the notable visual features of Atacamite? Atacamite boasts prismatic crystal formations in a vibrant green color, creating a visually stunning display.
  4. Why are images of Atacamite significant? Images showcase the mineral’s beauty and allow individuals to appreciate it without physically owning it.
  5. What is the significance of Atacamite’s healing properties? Atacamite is believed to have healing properties that can impact various aspects such as chakra energy and spiritual well-being.
  6. What is the takeaway from this article? Atacamite is not just a mineral for sale, but a reminder of the remarkable wonders found in the world of minerals, serving as a visual and spiritual guide for those fascinated by its beauty and potential benefits.

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