The Mineral BRASS

Brass is not an officially recognized mineral as yet, although it has been proposed. It is not the man-made brass that is under consideration, but specimens of naturally occurring crystals of a copper nickel alloy with a formula similar to what we know as brass. These specimens are also not common, but are extremely rare and have only been found in a couple of localities in Siberia, Russia. Brass could be considered an official mineral if the naturally occurring crystals prove to have a unique structure and chemistry from other copper nickel alloys. That may prove difficult or impossible and if so, brass will then be discounted as a mineral.

Brass is classified as an element dispite the fact, that in chemical reality, it is a compound. Minerals like brass are alloys with metallic bonds that are very similar to the more pure metallic elements and are thus classified as elements.


  • Color is yellow to brassy yellow.
  • Luster is metallic.
  • Transparency: Specimens are opaque.
  • Crystal System is isometric.
  • Crystal Habits are limited to tiny grains.
  • Cleavage is absent.
  • Specific Gravity is 8.4 - 8.7 (man-made brass)
  • Streak is brassy brown.
  • Notable Occurrences are limited to two localities in Siberia, Russia; Tolbachik Volcano, Kamchatka and Vol'sk-Vym Ridge, Middle Timan.
  • Best Field Indicator is color, locality, density and rarity.
Popular Members of the Elements Class


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