The Gemstone 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.
3.5 - 4.5
AlPO4 · 2(H2O)
1.55 - 1.59
Opaque. May be translucent when backlit on the edges.
2.5 - 2.6
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
Variscite is mainly used as a collectors gemstone or exotic green gemstone. It is cut into cabochon
s and used as pendants, and is also used in beads and in ornate carvings.
Treatments & Enhancements
Variscite gemstones are natural and not enhanced.
The only significant source of gemstone-grade Variscite is the Utahlite Claim, in the Lucin District, Box Elder County, Utah. Outstanding Variscite nodule
s associated with other phosphate
minerals come from Clay Canyon, near Fairfield, Utah County, Utah, and these are sometimes also cut or carved into 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
Variscite in the Rough Photos