is a mineral composed of copper oxide Cu2
O, and is a minor ore of copper.
Its dark crystals with red internal reflections are in the isometric system hexoctahedral class, appearing as cubic, octahedral, or dodecahedral forms, or in combinations. Penetration twins
frequently occur. In spite of its nice color it is rarely used for jewelry because of its low Mohs hardness of 3.5 to 4. It has a relatively high specific gravity
of 6.1, imperfect cleavage and a brittle to conchoidal fracture. The luster is sub-metallic to brilliant adamantine. The "chalcotrichite" variety typically shows greatly elongated (parallel to 
) capillary or needle like crystals forms.
It is a secondary mineral which forms in the oxidized zone of copper sulfide deposits. It frequently occurs in association with native copper, azurite, chrysocolla, malachite, tenorite and a variety of oxide
] minerals. It is known as ruby copper
due to its distinctive red color.
Cuprite was first described in 1845 and the name derives from the Latin cuprum
for its copper content.
- Hurlbut, Cornelius S.; Klein, Cornelis, 1985, Manual of Mineralogy, 20th ed., Wiley, ISBN 0471805807
- Webmineral data