Is Tumbling Peacock Ore a Good Idea? (What You Need To Know)

If you haven’t seen peacock ore in person, you’re missing out on one of natures incredible displays of beauty.

Peacock ore displays colors ranging from reds to blue and purple hues which is exactly how this mineral got its name.

With such a brilliant display of colors, you might be wondering if you can tumble peacock ore. You’re probably thinking that by throwing your peacock ore specimen into your rock tumbler, you might be able to polish it and make it an even more beautiful specimen.

So, can you tumble peacock ore?

Can You Tumble Peacock Ore?

Unfortunately, no, you cannot tumble peacock ore if you want the colors to remain when you’re done tumbling it.

The reason peacock ore is not a good candidate to use in your rock tumbler is because the iridescence of peacock ore is caused by a thin layer of oxidation on the surface. Polishing or tumbling the stone will completely remove this thin layer.  It would be the same as over polishing a silver plated item and completely wearing away the plated metal coating.

What If You Already Tumbled a Peacock Ore Specimen?

Did you already try rock tumbling your peacock ore? If so, chances are pretty high that the iridescent colors that used to be on the stone are no longer there. And you might be wondering if there’s anything you can do to restore the colors of the peacock ore.

How To Restore Peacock Ore Coloring

If you’ve accidently removed the outer layer of your bornite or chalcopyrite specimen, not to worry. Restoring the colors that were once displayed on the stone is not difficult at all to do.

To bring out the colors on peacock ore, simply soak it in vinegar with some copper pipe. With a little patience, you’ll find that it will start to change colors to blue, purple and green.

If you know that you have a chalcopyrite specimen (as opposed to Bornite) there’s another way that you can color your specimen to turn it into peacock ore.

You can try soaking your specimen in Super Iron Out, vinegar (5 percent acetic acid), or dilute muriatic acid (28 percent hydrochloric acid) for a brief length of time. Some samples will react and change to appealing hues of various colors, while others will not.

What is Peacock Ore?

Bornite is a copper ore mineral notable for its iridescent tarnish. “Peacock Ore,” which is often times sold to hobby mineral collectors and tourists, is frequently mislabeled as a Bornite variant. However, the majority of Peacock Ore is actually Chalcopyrite that’s been treated with acid, which results in a brightly colored shimmering tarnish. 

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