Group: Phosphates

Chemical composition: AlPO4.2H2O

Colors: Pale to apple green

Hardness: 4.5

Formation: Orthorhombic crystals; Cryptocrystalline aggregate form

Principal Sources: Austria; Czech Republic; Australia; Venezuela; North Carolina, Utah and Arizona, USA

Special Notes: It is a relatively rare phosphate mineral. It is sometimes confused with turquoise; however, variscite is usually greener in color. Variscite is a secondary mineral formed by direct deposition from phosphate-bearing water that has reacted with aluminium-rich rocks in a near-surface environment. It occurs as fine-grained masses in nodules, cavity fillings, and crusts. Variscite often contains white veins of the calcium aluminium phosphate mineral crandallite. Variscite is sometimes used as a semi-precious stone, and is popular for carvings and ornamental use.