Libethenit ( leaved Olivenerz ) is a rarely occurring mineral from the mineral class of " phosphates, arsenates and vanadates ." It crystallizes in the orthorhombic crystal system with the chemical composition Cu2 [ OH | PO4 ] and usually develops short prismatic, acicular or dipyramidal crystals, but also grape-like, low one or granular to massive mineral aggregates from light green to greenish black color and green to greenish white stroke color.

Libethenit forms with Adamin and Olivenit named after him isomorphic mixed batch, which is also isotypic with andalusite, that is, in the same crystal structure crystallized.

Etymology and history

Was first found in 1823 in Libethenit Ľubietová ( German Libethen, Slovakia) and described by Johann Friedrich August Breithaupt, who named the mineral after just this type locality.


In the now outdated nomenclature of minerals by Strunz ( 8th edition ) of the Libethenit belongs to the department of " water clear phosphates with foreign anions ", where it forms together with Adamite, Eveit, Olivenit, Paradamin, Tarbuttit and Zincolibethenit the Libethenit series.

Since the revision of the Strunz'schen Mineral classification in the 9th edition also this department is more accurate divided by the size of the involved cations and the molar ratio of the involved anions and the phosphate, arsenate or Vanadatkomplex and the mineral is in accordance with the subdivision " with only medium-sized cations, and the molar ratio (OH, etc.): RO 4 ≥ 1: 1 to find. "

The classification of minerals according to Dana sorted the Libethenit in the department of " water clear phosphates, etc. with hydroxyl or halogen, and the general formula (A ) 2 ( XO4 ) Zq ".

Education and Locations

Libethenit forms as a secondary mineral in the oxidation zone of copper deposits and there occurs predominantly in paragenesis with azurite, malachite, Pseudomalachit, chrysocolla, and various iron oxides, either grown alone or in glands on.

In Germany was the mineral so far in the Black Forest, Upper Palatinate Forest, North Hesse and Odenwald, Eifel and Westerwald, are found in Düppenweiler, Ore Mountains, and in Bad Lobenstein and in Vogtland.

Worldwide Libethenit has been demonstrated to some 180 localities (as of 2009), so among other things, on the Cerro Blanco in Argentina; several regions of Australia; Durbuy in Belgium; several regions of Chile; in several parts of England; in some French regions; Liguria and Sardinia in Italy; on Honshu in Japan; in the Katanga province of the Democratic Republic of Congo ( formerly the Belgian Congo and Zaire ); in the Pool region of the neighboring state Republic of the Congo (formerly French Congo ) Durango and Sonora in Mexico; in some regions of Portugal; in the regions of East Siberia and the Urals of Russia; in Banská Bystrica in Slovakia; the Spanish regions of Aragon, Castile -La Mancha and Catalonia; Mpumalanga and Northern Cape in South Africa; at Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic; as well as in many regions of the United States.

Synthetic production

This gives Libethenit by heating copper phosphate Cu3P2O8 3 H2O with water in sealed tubes.

Crystal structure

Libethenit crystallizes in the orthorhombic space group Pnnm with the lattice parameters a = 8.062 Å; b = 8.384 Å and b = 5.881 Å and four formula units per unit cell.