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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.

Variscite Polished
Variscite Classification
Common Name Variscite
Species Variscite
Variscite Optical Properties
Transparency Translucent - Opaque
Refractive Index 1.560-1.590
Birefringence 0.031
Optic Character Biaxial
Optic Sign Negative
Polariscope Reaction Aggregate (AGG), Doubly Refractive (DR)
Fluorescence SWUV: Inert to weak green
LWUV: Inert to weak green
CCF Reaction pinkish to red
Pleochroism None
Variscite Characteristic Physical Properties
Hardness 3.5-5
Streak White
Specific Gravity 2.400-2.600 Typical:2.500
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, Waxy
Fracture Granular, Uneven
Cleavage None
Variscite Chemistry & Crystallography
Chemical Name hydrous aluminum phosphate
Chemical Formula AlPO4.2H2O
Crystal System Orthorhombic
Chemistry Classification Phosphate

Variscite Colors

  • Yellow Variscite Yellow
  • Green Variscite Green

Alternate Names

Utahlite, Amatrice, Sabalite, Trainite Or Chol-Utahlite

Countries of Origin

United States of America (the); Unknown; China; Brazil; Australia


Untreated material normal, gentle handling. Variscite is a soft stone, so be mindful of scratching. Stabilized and dyed material avoid temperature changes, heat, steaming, chemicals, and ultrasonic cleaners.

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Tim Matthews


Tim Matthews

Tim Matthews is President and Chief Executive Officer of Jewelry Television® (JTV), as well as a member of the company's Board of Directors. He oversees and leads all aspects of the company's powerful omni-digital retail platform that uniquely specializes in fine jewelry and gemstones. His passion for business and gemstones has led him to become a recognized expert in the field of gemology. He is a life member of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) and has earned Gem-A's highest degrees, the Gemmology (FGA) and Diamond (DGA) diplomas. He is also a Graduate Gemologist (GG) of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and has also completed GIA's Graduate Diplomas in Diamonds, Colored Stones and Pearls. Under his leadership, JTV has become the leader in the sourcing and selling of color gemstones and jewelry.

This page was created on June 27, 2014.

This page was last edited on October 24, 2019.