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Gemstones 250x250

The Gemstone Variscite

Green Variscite

Variscite is an opaque gemstone with interesting color splotches and veins. It is usually a light or minty-green with whitish patterns. Almost all Variscite gemstones originate from Utah, and for this reason it may also be called Utahlite. In fact, the most important deposit of gemstone-grade Variscite is actually called the Utahlite Deposit.

Color

? Green

Hardness

? 3.5 - 4.5

Chemical Formula

? AlPO4 · 2(H2O)

Mineral Class

? Variscite

Additional Properties

Crystal System
? Orthorhombic
Refractive Index
? 1.55 - 1.59
Double Refraction
? .016
Transparency
? Opaque. May be translucent when backlit on the edges.
SG
? 2.5 - 2.6
Luster
? Waxy
Cleavage ? 1,1;2,1

All About

The unique color habits and patterns of Variscite make it  exotic and attractive. However, it is not a common gemstone and thus not readily available. Variscite lacks durability and therefore should not be washed with chemicals or cleansers. It is also a relatively soft gemstone, and extra care should be exercised to prevent scratching.

Uses

? Variscite is mainly used as a collectors gemstone or exotic green gemstone. It is cut into cabochons and used as pendants, and is also used in beads and in ornate carvings.

Other Names

?

Varieties

?

Treatments & Enhancements

? Variscite gemstones are natural and not enhanced.

Variscite Sources

? The only significant source of gemstone-grade Variscite is the Utahlite Claim, in the Lucin District, Box Elder County, Utah. Outstanding Variscite nodules associated with other phosphate minerals come from Clay Canyon, near Fairfield, Utah County, Utah, and these are sometimes also cut or carved into gemstones.

Similar Gemstones

? Variscite is softer than Jade, softer and lighter in color than Amazonite. It is less intensely green than Chrysoprase, and is not blue like Turquoise or Chrysocolla.

Variscite Photos

?

Variscite in the Rough Photos

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