Variscite

Variscite was first described in 1837 and named after Variscia, the historical name of the Vogtland, Germany.

Variscite can be cut into cabochons, used for carvings and ornamental objects. It is sometimes confused with turquoise, but variscite usually has greener colour.

Variscite Gemstones by Colour

This table shows the variety of hues this gemstone can be found in. Click on a photo for more information.
 

Variscite Gemstones by Size

This table shows distribution of Variscite gemstone sizes that are listed on this site. This can give a good indication as to the general availability of this gemstone in different sizes.
Contributed photos
Lightest:18.47 cts
Heaviest:42.41 cts
Average:23.45 cts
Total photos:8
Do you have a larger Variscite? Why not upload a photo?
18.47ct to 20.86ct20.86ct to 23.26ct23.26ct to 25.65ct25.65ct to 28.05ct28.05ct to 30.44ct30.44ct to 32.83ct32.83ct to 35.23ct35.23ct to 37.62ct37.62ct to 40.02ct40.02ct to 42.41ct
General Information
Other Names/Trade Names:
Chemical Formula
AlPO
 
4
· 2H
 
2
O
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
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Photos of natural/un-cut material from mindat.org
Physical Properties of Variscite
Mohs Hardness4 to 5
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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Specific Gravity2.42 to 2.58
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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TenacityBrittle
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
Cleavage QualityPerfect
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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FractureConchoidal
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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Optical Properties of Variscite
Refractive Index1.560 to 1.594
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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Optical CharacterBiaxial/-
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
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Birefringence0.031
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
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PleochroismMissing
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
DispersionPerceptible
Anthony et al, Handbook of mineralogy (2001)
Colour
Colour (General)Green, yellow-green, green-blue
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
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Colour (Chelsea Filter)Pinkish to red
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
Causes of ColourGreen, Cr3+ presumably in octahedral coordination
W. William Hanneman, Pragmatic Spectroscopy For Gemologists (2011)
TransparencyTranslucent,Opaque
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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LustreWaxy
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
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Fluorescence & other light emissions
Fluorescence (General)Strong; pale green, green
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
Fluorescence (Short Wave UV)Inert to green
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
Fluorescence (Long-Wave UV)Inert to whitish green
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
Crystallography of Variscite
Crystal SystemOrthorhombic
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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HabitMassive
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
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Geological Environment
Where found:Variscite is typically deposited from phosphate-bearing waters in contact with aluminous rocks.
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
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Further Information
Mineral information:Variscite information at mindat.org
Significant Gem Localities
Brazil
 
  • Minas Gerais
    • Galiléia
      • Sapucaia do Norte
Gems, Sixth Edition, Michael O’Donoghue, 2006, p. 462
Peru
 
  • Junín Department
USA
 
  • Utah
    • Box Elder Co.
U.S. Geological Survey, 2005, Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
U.S. Geological Survey, 2005, Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
U.S. Geological Survey, 2005, Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
    • Utah Co.
      • Oquirrh Mts
        • Fairfield
          • Clay Canyon
Gems, Sixth Edition, Michael O’Donoghue, 2006, p. 462
Copyright © Jolyon & Katya Ralph 1993-2018. Site Map. Locality, gem & photograph data are the copyright of the individuals who submitted them. For more information please contact the . Gemdat.org is an online information resource dedicated to providing free gemmological information to all.