Filamentose Oxide of Copper
- Div. 2. Imitative.
Nature, ever various and instructive, often represents one thing with the appearance of another. Thus, a casual observer would expect that this Copper Ore merely consisted of filaments of scarlet silk: however, on examination with the help of a lens, we with certainty distinguish the contrary, and see how beautifully Nature varies her operations, and under certain circumstances accomplishes the same end with different appearances: thus, the moleculæ are forming threads more or less discoverable in the shape of elongated octaëdrons or cubes. The upper figure is decomposing Feltspar and Quartz with these filaments of Ruby Copper Ore, some of which are in bent 4-sided threads crossing each other. Others are irregular and confused, apparently having been disturbed: see the left hand upper figure. In some parts they are disposed in straight filaments, crossing each other at right angles, as if disposed to form a cube: see the right hand upper figure. The lower figure is chiefly Ruby Copper and Native Copper, with a little Quartz and Copper Pyrites. the fibres on this are larger, and show signs of elongated octaëdrons and rectangular prisms. They are beautifully pellucid and transparent, with the full lustre of a ruby. We may add that there is a regular gradation from the powdery oxide, naturally opaque as to partake of the same opacity, to such as resemble fine wool.
We were favoured with this last specimen by Messrs. W. and R. Phillips, who had it from Redruth in Cornwall.