A secondary mineral in copper and zinc deposits, aurichalcite is typically found as blue or green crusts or mats of tiny acicular crystals. Aurichalcite is considered a natural brass ore, since it is composed of zinc and copper, the constituents of brass. However, it occurs too sparingly, and there are no practical methods for brass to be extracted from it. It is, though, an ore of zinc and copper when found in mines where there exists workable deposits of these elements.
It was first described in 1839 by Bottger who named the mineral for its zinc and copper content after the Greek όρειχαλκος, for “mountain brass” or “mountain copper”, the name of a fabulous metal. The type locality is the Loktevskoye Mine, Upper Loktevka River, Rudnyi Altai, Altaiskii Krai, Western Siberia, Russia.