Variscite | Gemopedia

Variscite is a phosphate mineral that is translucent to opaque with green to bluish green coloring that is often mottled or veined. This gem is commonly cut en cabochon or used for carvings. With a similar appearance to green turquoise, variscite is named for its location of first discovery in Germany. When mined in Utah, some prefer to call it Utahlite.
Alternate
Names
Utahlite, Amatrice, Sabalite, Trainite Or Chol-Utahlite
Colors
Light To Medium Yellowish Green To Bluish Green; Often Mottled, Veined With Yellow To Brown Matrix

Variscite Classification

Common Name

Variscite

Species

Variscite

Variety

Colors

Light To Medium Yellowish Green To Bluish Green; Often Mottled, Veined With Yellow To Brown Matrix

Alternate Names

Utahlite, Amatrice, Sabalite, Trainite Or Chol-Utahlite

Gemstone Groups

Key Separations

appearance, RI, spectrum, color filter and SG

Comments

Sabalite and trainite are banded green varieties of variscite. Misnomers: Nevada turquoise and California turquoise

Variscite Optical Properties

Transparency

Translucent - Opaque

Refractive Index

1.56-1.59
Tolerance:(+0.003/-0.006)

Birefringence

0.031

Optic Character

Biaxial

Optic Sign

Negative

Polariscope Reaction

Doubly Refractive (DR)

Fluorescence

SWUV: Inert to weak green
LWUV: Inert to weak green

CCF Reaction

pinkish to red

Pleochroism

None

Dispersion

Comments

Variscite Chemistry & Crystallography

Chemical Name

hydrous aluminum phosphate

Chemical Formula

AlPO4.2H2O

Synthesis

Crystal System

Orthorhombic

Classification

Phosphate

Nature

Natural

Crystallinity

Aggregate

Comments

Variscite Characteristic Physical Properties

Hardness

3.5-5

Streak

White

Specific Gravity

2.4-2.6 Typical:2.5

Toughness

Poor

Inclusions

Variscite mottled in appearance with yellow to brown matrix. Material from Utah is lime green and has a swirled appearance.

Luster

Vitreous

Stability

Fracture

Granular, Uneven

Cleavage

None

Comments

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