Wavellite

Wavellite is named after William Wavell, physician in Horwood Parish, Devonshire, England, who discovered the mineral.

Wavellite forms translucent to transparent black, brown, yellowish green to green, white to greenish white, yellow very small crystals and larger characteristic radial aggregates.

Wavellite is cut into attractive cabochons, slabs and other ornamental pieces.
General Information
Chemical Formula
Al
 
3
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH,F)
 
3
· 5H
 
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 Wavellite
Mohs Hardness3.5 to 4
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
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Specific Gravity2.36
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
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TenacityBrittle
Anthony et al, Handbook of mineralogy (2001)
Cleavage QualityPerfect
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
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FractureUneven
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
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Optical Properties of Wavellite
Refractive Index1.518 to 1.561
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006) RI for the alpha, beta and gamma rays is 1.518–1.535, 1.524–1.543 and 1.544–1.561More from other references
Optical CharacterBiaxial/+
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
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Birefringence0.025
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
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PleochroismNil
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
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DispersionNil
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Colour
Colour (General)White to greenish white, yellowish green
to green to brown or black
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
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TransparencyTranslucent
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
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LustreVitreous
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
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Crystallography of Wavellite
Crystal SystemOrthorhombic
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
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HabitVery small crystals and larger characteristic radial aggregates
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
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Geological Environment
Where found:Wavellite occurs as a secondary mineral in low-grade metamorphic rocks and phosphate deposits.
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
Further Information
Mineral information:Wavellite information at mindat.org
Significant Gem Localities
UK
 
  • England
    • Devon
      • North Devon
        • Filleigh
Gems, Sixth Edition, Michael O’Donoghue, 2006, p. 465
USA
 
  • Arkansas
    • Garland Co.
      • Hot Springs
Gems, Sixth Edition, Michael O’Donoghue, 2006, p. 465
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