Variscite is a relatively rare phosphate mineral, and high-quality specimens are used as gemstones and for carvings. Its name derives from Variscia, the historical name of Vogtland in Germany, where it was first found in 1837. At one time it also went under the name Utahlite, since significant deposits have also been found in Utah, USA.
How do Variscite Gemstones look?
Variscite is often confused with turquoise, though variscite tends to be more green in color rather than blue. The variscite from Nevada, USA, which usually contains black spiderwebbing in the matrix, can easily be confused with greenish turquoise. Gemologists can definitively separate variscite from turquoise since turquoise contains traces of copper whereas variscite does not. Variscite is colored by traces of chromium rather than copper.
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