Variscite has occasionally been used as a turquoise imitation. It is very popular among hobbyists as a cabochon material because of the interesting patterns in the Utah material. Variscite mixed with quartz from Ely, Nevada, has been named Amatrix (for American matrix).
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|Crystallography||Orthorhombic. Crystals octahedral and very rare; also massive, crusts. nodules.|
|Colors||Colorless, pale green, dark green, yellowish green, blue-green.|
|Luster||Crystals vitreous; massive waxy to dull.|
|Cleavage||Crystals: good 1 direction: fracture conchoidal; brittle.|
|Stone Sizes||Nodules of variscite may weigh many pounds and have been found up to a diameter of about 24 inches. The material is suitable only for cabochons, but variscite mixed with other phosphates is sometimes cut into spheres or used in decorative displays.|
|Luminescence||Dull green (Lewiston, Utah) or green (Fairfield. Utah) in SW; whitish green in LW from these localities.|
|Spectral||Not diagnostic. Strong line at 6880, weaker line at 6500.|
|Formula||AIPO4 · 2H2O.|
VARISCITE Series to Strengite: FePO4 – 2H2O.
Massive: none; fracture splintery to uneven.
Optics: a=1.563; β=1.588; γ= 1.594.
Shadow edge at about 1.56.
Biaxial (-), 2V moderate.
Occurrence: Forms by the action of phosphate-bearing waters on aluminous rocks.
Arkansas; California; Nevada; Arizona; Pennsylvania; Germany; Czechoslovakia: Austria; Queensland. Australia; Brazil; Spain.
Fairfield County, Utah: rich-colored nodules up to 24 inches across mixed with other massive complex phosphates.
Tooele, Utah: massive. rich green nodules, suitable for cutting.
Comments: Variscite has occasionally been used as a turquoise imitation. It is very popular among hobbyists as a cabochon material because of the interesting patterns in the Utah material. Variscite mixed with quartz from Ely, Nevada, has been named Amatrix (for American matrix).
Name: After Variscia, the old name of the Voigtland district in Germany where it was first found.