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Article: Variscite



  • Variscite is a secondary mineral formed by direct deposition from phosphate-bearing water reacting 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.
  • It was first described in 1837 and named after the locality of Variscia, the historical name of the Vogtland in Germany.
  • Variscite from Nevada typically contains black spiderwebbing in the matrix and is often confused with green turquoise.


  • Variscite has been used in Europe for making personal ornaments, especially beads, since Neolithic times.
  • Its use continued during the Bronze Age and in Roman times.
  • All variscite used in Europe comes from three sites in Spain: Gavá, Palazuelo de las Cuevas, and Encinasola.
  • Variscite is sometimes used as a semi-precious stone and is popular for carvings and ornamental use due to its beautiful green color.
  • It is commonly used in silversmithing as a substitute for turquoise.


  • Cut slab of variscite at the Smithsonian, approximately 0.5 m wide.
  • Variscite filling the cracks in siltstone from Queensland, Australia, with a view width of 11 cm.
  • Polished variscite specimen from Nevada.
  • Variscite and silver bolo tie with inclusions of white crandallite from Clay Canyon near Fairfield, Utah.

See also

  • Variscan orogeny: Collision of tectonic plates resulting in the creation of mountains, named after Variscia in Germany.
  • List of minerals.


  • Wikimedia Commons has media related to Variscite.
  • Warr, L. N. (2021). IMA–CNMNC approved mineral symbols. Mineralogical Magazine, Vol.85, no.3.
  • Variscite (PDF). Handbook of Mineralogy, RRUFF Project.
  • Variscite,
  • Variscite Mineral Data,

Variscite Data Sources

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