Variscite

Infobox mineral
name = Variscite
category = mineral
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formula = AlPO4·2H2O
molweight =
color = Green, blue green, yellow green and rarely red
habit = Encrustations and reniform masses
system = Orthorhombic - Dipyramidal
twinning =
cleavage = 010 perfect
fracture = Conchoidal to splintery
mohs = 4.5
luster = Vitreous to waxy
refractive = nα = 1.563 nβ = 1.588 nγ = 1.594
opticalprop = Biaxial (-)
birefringence =
pleochroism =
streak = White
gravity = 2.57 to 2.61
density =
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Variscite AluminiumPhosphorusOxygen|4·2H2O, hydrated aluminium phosphate or berlinite, is a relatively rare phosphate mineral. It is sometimes confused with turquoise; however, variscite is usually greener in color.

Variscite is a secondary mineral formed by direct deposition from phosphate bearing water that has reacted with aluminium rich rocks in a near-surface environment. It occurs as fine-grained masses in nodules, cavity fillings, and crusts. Variscite often contains white veins of the calcium aluminium phosphate mineral crandallite.

Variscite is sometimes used as a semi-precious stone, and is popular for carvings and ornamental use. It was first described in 1837 and named for the type locality of Variscia, the historical name of Vogtland in Germany. At one time, variscite was called "Utahlite". At times, materials which may be turquoise or may be variscite have been marketed as "variquoise". Appreciation of the color ranges typically found in variscite have made it a popular gem in recent years [Minerals of Nevada - Nevada Bureau of Mines Special Pub. 31 University of Nevada Press, 2004 Pages 78-81] .

Two of the major mines in Utah are the Lucin mine in northern Utah and the Clay Canyon mine 40 minutes southwest of Salt Lake City. Both mines are practically mined out and inactive. Clay Canyon variscite fetches a high dollar and is prized by collectors and jewelry makers for the 10 other kinds of minerals that are found in the material, including wardite and crandallite, that make for very unusual patterns. The US Postal Service put out a stamp with a sample piece of Clay Canyon variscite as a picture on the stamp. Lucin variscite is notable for deep emerald to minty greens and a grey chert matrix.

Variscite from Nevada typically contains black spiderwebbing in the matrix and is often confused with green turquoise. Nevada variscite mines tend to be smaller "one-man" mines. While little Utah Variscite has been produced in recent decades, Nevada produced some significant amounts of carving and gem grade materials since the 1980s. Most of the Nevada variscite recovered in recent decades has come from mines located in Lander County. [Gemstones of North America Volume III by John Sinkankas - Geoscience Press 1997] Productive mines in Lander County include the Damele, Apache Canyon, McGuinness, and several mines in the Ackerman Canyon area. Several mines near Candelaria in Esmerelda County have also been productive, in fact a large strike of Variscite was made at Candelaria in 2005.

A notable locality is Fairfield, Utah in the United States. It is also found in Germany, Australia, Poland and Brazil.

References


* [http://webmineral.com/data/Variscite.shtml Webmineral data]
* [http://www.mindat.org/min-4156.html Mindat]
* [http://rruff.geo.arizona.edu/doclib/hom/variscite.pdf Mineral Data Publishing - PDF]

ee also

*List of minerals


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Variscite — Catégorie VIII : phosphates, arséniates, vanadates[1] Variscite La Floquerie, Pannecé, France …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Variscite — Var is*cite, n. [So called from Variscia in Germany.] (Min.) An apple green mineral occurring in reniform masses. It is a hydrous phosphate of alumina. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • variscite — ● variscite nom féminin (de Variscia, ancien nom d une région, en Allemagne) Phosphate hydraté naturel d aluminium, orthorhombique …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • variscite — /var euh suyt /, n. a secondary mineral, hydrated phosphate of aluminum, Al(PO4)·2H2O, occurring mainly as massive, bluish green nodules: sometimes used as a gem. [ < G Variscit, named after Variscia Latinized German district name; see ITE1] * *… …   Universalium

  • variscite — noun A relatively rare hydrated aluminum phosphate mineral (AlPO·2HO), sometimes confused with turquoise …   Wiktionary

  • variscite —    A cave mineral AlPO4●2H2O [11] …   Lexicon of Cave and Karst Terminology

  • variscite — var·is·cite …   English syllables

  • variscite — ˈvarəˌsīt noun ( s) Etymology: German variscit, from Medieval Latin Variscia, ancient name of the Vogtland district, Saxony, Germany + German it ite : a bluish to greenish gem mineral sometimes confused with or substituted for turquoise called… …   Useful english dictionary

  • variscite green — noun : a light green that is yellower and less strong than average mint green and yellower and paler than serpentine …   Useful english dictionary

  • Variscit — aus der „Little Green Monster Variscite Mine“ bei Fairfield im Utah County, USA (Größe: 10,8 x 6,8 x 0,6 cm) Chemische Formel Al[PO4] • 2H2O …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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