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Fact sheet


Liroconite is a rare mineral containing copper, arsenic and aluminium, and is highly valued by collectors.  The locality where liroconite was first identified (its type locality) is Wheal Gorland.  This specimen shows the largest and finest crystal known from any locality worldwide.  It was found at Wheal Gorland in 1808 and acquired by local gentleman-collector Philip Rashleigh shortly before he died in 1811.  His entry in the manuscript catalogue of his collection reads:

"1114  A crystal of copper ore in a double four sided pyramid of a transparent blue colour, the largest edge of the crystal 9/10th of an inch, the largest yet seen perfect. Wheal Gorland, r r r"

Rashleigh used the letter ‘r’ to indicate how rare a specimen was - the greater the number of ‘r’s the rarer the specimen.

Chemical Formula: Cu2Al(AsO4)(OH)4•4H2O

Specimen no. TRURI: 1903.1.697
Location: Wheal Gorland
Grid Reference: SW 730 427


Additional images
  • Liroconite on strashimirite 4 cm across
  • Liroconite on strashimirite 4 cm across
  • Liroconite on strashimirite 4 cm across
  • Liroconite on strashimirite 4 cm across
  • Liroconite on strashimirite 4 cm across
50.240601, -5.184892
About this collection

This Collection focuses on Cornwall and West Devon’s mineralogical and mining heritage.  The specimens it features are drawn from the collection of the Royal Institution of Cornwall (RIC) held at the Royal Cornwall Museum (RCM). 

This collaborative project involving the RCM, the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site and The Open University explores how access to the RIC’s mineral collection and the stories it can tell can be widened using digital technology.  It includes radioactive minerals from Cornwall that would otherwise be inaccessible to the public for health and safety reasons.

Sample details

Category guide  
Category Guide
Refers to any word or phrase that appears in the individual rock names. Names are generally descriptive; they allow users to search for broad terms like ‘granite’ as well as more specific names such as ‘breccia’. However, the adjacent descriptions of the specimens captures a wider range of general words and phrases and is a more powerful search tool.
Refers to any word or phrase that appears anywhere in the descriptions of the specimens
Accessory minerals
Minerals that occur in very low abundance in a rock. They are usually not visible with the naked eye and contribute perhapssver, they often dominate the rare elements such as platinum group metals.
Rock-forming minerals
Minerals that make up the bulk of all rock samples and are also the ones used in rock classi?cation.
Selecting one or more period, for example 'Jurassic'.
A term used to group together related samples that are not already gathered into a single Collection. For instance, there is a ‘SW England granites’ theme that includes such rock types as granite, hydrothermal breccia, skarn and vein samples.
A general term used to label a rock sample. It is a useful way of grouping similar samples throughout a collection. Category names are often, but not exclusively, common rock names (e.g. granite, basalt, dolerite, gabbro, greisen, skarn, gneiss, amphibolite, limestone, sandstone).
The owner of the sample that appears in the collection. For example, NASA owns all the samples that appear in the Moon Rocks collection
We would like to thank the following for the use of this sample: