Geographic Minerals

Papagoite: Properties and Occurrences

Papagoite: Properties and Occurrences

Papagoite is a cyclosilicate mineral that is extremely rare. It is a calcium copper aluminum silicate hydroxide that can be found as a secondary mineral on slip surfaces and in altered granodiorite veins, either in massive form or as microscopic crystals that can form spherical aggregates. CaCuAlSi2O6(OH)3 is its chemical formula.

It is named after the Papago American Indians, now known as the Tohono O’odam, who live in the vicinity of the type locality of Papagoite in Ajo, Arizona, USA. Papagoite is a rare mineral found in South Africa, Namibia, and a newer locality in Slovakia, in addition to the type locality. It is found in thin veinlets in altered granodiorite at the type locality and as inclusion in quartz crystals in South Africa.

General Information

  • Category: Cyclosilicate
  • Formula: (repeating unit) CaCuAlSi2O6(OH)
  • Crystal system: Monoclinic
  • Crystal class: Prismatic (2/m) (same H-M symbol)
  • Color: Dark blue crystals, light blue when massive


Papagoites leave a light blue streak. It is one of only a few four membered ring silicates. These silicates have four silicate tetrahedrons linked into a ring forming a distorted square-like structural element.

  • Crystal habit: Massive; cryptocrystalline, forming flat elongated crystals
  • Cleavage: Imperfect in one direction
  • Fracture: Brittle
  • Mohs scale hardness: 5–5.5
  • Luster: Vitreous to dull
  • Streak: Light blue
  • Specific gravity: 3.25
  • Optical properties: Biaxial (-)
  • It is used as a gemstone.

Discovery and Occurrences

It was discovered in 1960 in Ajo, Arizona, and named after the Hia C-ed O’odham people (also known as the Sand Papago). This is the only papagoite source in the United States, though it can also be found in South Africa and Namibia. It is found in Arizona with aurichalcite, shattuckite, ajoite, and baryte, and in South Africa with quartz, native copper, and ajoite. The mineral’s most noticeable feature is its bright blue color.

Papagoite was discovered in Ajo, Pima County, Arizona, as tiny crystals associated with blueish green ajoite. This microcrystalline material cannot be cut. Massive papagoite found mixed with quartz, on the other hand, has a higher hardness and wearability. It can also take a high polish, which makes it suitable for cabbing. These opaque to translucent cabs can have a vitreous luster.


It’s a type of gemstone. Papagoite is an extremely rare and potent crystal. There isn’t much metaphysical information on Papagoite because it’s hard to come by and hasn’t been handled by many people. Papagoite has an extremely pure, peaceful, and spiritually expansive energy. When used for the first time, meditating with Papagoite can induce a state of spiritual euphoria.

The energy of Papagoite is extremely benevolent and tends to harmonize with whatever it comes into contact with. In other words, Papagoite meets you at your level of comfort. If you allow it, it will gradually raise your vibration at a rate that you are comfortable with.