Last updated


Wavellite cluster from din Mountain Quarries, Mauldin Mt., Montgomery County, Arkansas, USA
Category Phosphate minerals
(repeating unit)
Strunz classification 8.DC.50
Crystal system Orthorhombic
Crystal class Dipyramidal (mmm)
H-M symbol: (2/m 2/m 2/m)
Space group Pcmn
Unit cell a = 9.621  Å
b = 17.363 Å,
c = 6.994 Å; Z = 4
Color Green to yellowish-green and yellow, brown, white and colorless
Crystal habit Spherical, radial aggregates; striated prisms; crusty to stalactitic
Cleavage [110] perfect, [101] good, [010] distinct
Fracture Uneven to subconchoidal
Mohs scale hardness 3.5 - 4
Luster Vitreous to resinous, pearly
Streak White
Diaphaneity Translucent
Specific gravity 2.36
Optical properties Biaxial (+)
Refractive index nα = 1.518 - 1.535 nβ = 1.524 - 1.543 nγ = 1.544 - 1.561
Birefringence δ = 0.026
Pleochroism Weak; X = greenish; Z = yellowish
2V angle Measured: 60° to 72°
Fusibility Infusable, swells and splits on heating
Solubility Insoluble
References [1] [2] [3] [4]

Wavellite is a phosphate mineral with formula Al 3(P O 4)2(OH, F)3·5H2O. It normally occurs as translucent green radial or spherical clusters.

Phosphate salt or ester of phosphoric acid

A phosphate is a chemical derivative of phosphoric acid. The phosphate ion is an inorganic chemical, the conjugate base that can form many different salts. In organic chemistry, a phosphate, or organophosphate, is an ester of phosphoric acid. Of the various phosphoric acids and phosphates, organic phosphates are important in biochemistry and biogeochemistry, and inorganic phosphates are mined to obtain phosphorus for use in agriculture and industry. At elevated temperatures in the solid state, phosphates can condense to form pyrophosphates.

Mineral Element or chemical compound that is normally crystalline and that has been formed as a result of geological processes

A mineral is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound that occurs naturally in pure form. A rock may consist of a single mineral, or may be an aggregate of two or more different minerals, spacially segregated into distinct phases. Compounds that occur only in living beings are usually excluded, but some minerals are often biogenic and/or are organic compounds in the sense of chemistry. Moreover, living beings often synthesize inorganic minerals that also occur in rocks.

Aluminium Chemical element with atomic number 13

Aluminium or aluminum is a chemical element with symbol Al and atomic number 13. It is a silvery-white, soft, nonmagnetic and ductile metal in the boron group. By mass, aluminium makes up about 8% of the Earth's crust; it is the third most abundant element after oxygen and silicon and the most abundant metal in the crust, though it is less common in the mantle below. The chief ore of aluminium is bauxite. Aluminium metal is so chemically reactive that native specimens are rare and limited to extreme reducing environments. Instead, it is found combined in over 270 different minerals.


Discovery and occurrence

Wavellite from the Avant Mine, Garland County, Arkansas, showing spherical structure (size: 3.4 x 2.0 x 1.1 cm) Wavellite-199443.jpg
Wavellite from the Avant Mine, Garland County, Arkansas, showing spherical structure (size: 3.4 x 2.0 x 1.1 cm)

It was first described in 1805 for an occurrence at High Down, Filleigh, Devon, England and named for William Wavell of England who brought the mineral to the attention of the Scientific community. [3]

It occurs in association with crandallite and variscite in fractures in aluminous metamorphic rock, in hydrothermal regions and in phosphate rock deposits. [1] It is found in a wide variety of locations notably in the Mount Ida, Arkansas area in the Ouachita Mountains.

Variscite phosphate mineral

Variscite is a hydrated aluminium phosphate mineral (AlPO4·2H2O). It is a relatively rare phosphate mineral. It is sometimes confused with turquoise; however, variscite is usually greener in color. The green color results from the presence of small amounts of chromium.

Metamorphic rock Rock which was subjected to heat and pressure causing profound physical or chemical change

Metamorphic rocks arise from the transformation of existing rock types, in a process called metamorphism, which means "change in form". The original rock (protolith) is subjected to heat and pressure, causing profound physical or chemical change. The protolith may be a sedimentary, igneous, or existing metamorphic rock.

Mount Ida, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Mount Ida is a city in and county seat of Montgomery County, Arkansas, United States. Founded in 1842, the city saw a silver boom in the 1880s bring early prosperity and economic development to the area.

It is sometimes used as a gemstone. [5]

See also

Related Research Articles

Amethyst Mineral, quartz variety

Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz.

Amblygonite phosphate mineral

Amblygonite is a fluorophosphate mineral, (Li,Na)AlPO4(F,OH), composed of lithium, sodium, aluminium, phosphate, fluoride and hydroxide. The mineral occurs in pegmatite deposits and is easily mistaken for albite and other feldspars. Its density, cleavage and flame test for lithium are diagnostic. Amblygonite forms a series with montebrasite, the low fluorine endmember. Geologic occurrence is in granite pegmatites, high-temperature tin veins, and greisens. Amblygonite occurs with spodumene, apatite, lepidolite, tourmaline, and other lithium-bearing minerals in pegmatite veins. It contains about 10% lithium, and has been utilized as a source of lithium. The chief commercial sources have historically been the deposits of California and France.

Topaz Silicate mineral

Topaz is a silicate mineral of aluminium and fluorine with the chemical formula Al2SiO4(F, OH)2. Topaz crystallizes in the orthorhombic system, and its crystals are mostly prismatic terminated by pyramidal and other faces. It is one of the hardest naturally occurring minerals (Mohs hardness of 8) and is the hardest of any silicate mineral. This hardness combined with its usual transparency and variety of colors means that it has acquired wide use in jewellery as a cut gemstone as well as for intaglios and other gemstone carvings.

Garnet mineral, semi-precious stone

Garnets are a group of silicate minerals that have been used since the Bronze Age as gemstones and abrasives.

Lazurite A feldspathoid and a member of the sodalite group

Lazurite is a tectosilicate mineral with sulfate, sulfur and chloride with formula: (Na,Ca)8[(S,Cl,SO4,OH)2|(Al6Si6O24)]. It is a feldspathoid and a member of the sodalite group. Lazurite crystallizes in the isometric system although well formed crystals are rare. It is usually massive and forms the bulk of the gemstone lapis lazuli.

Smoky quartz quartz variety

Smoky quartz is a grey, translucent variety of quartz that ranges in clarity from almost complete transparency to an almost-opaque brownish-gray or black crystal. Like other quartz gems, it is a silicon dioxide crystal. The smoky colour results from free silicon formed from the silicon dioxide by natural irradiation.

Brazilianite phosphate mineral

Brazilianite, whose name derives from its country of origin, Brazil, is a typically yellow-green phosphate mineral, most commonly found in phosphate-rich pegmatites.

Cordierite cyclosilicate, mineral

"Praseolite" redirects here. For the green variety of quartz see prasiolite.

Phosphorite non-detrital sedimentary rock which contains high amounts of phosphate bearing minerals

Phosphorite,phosphate rock or rock phosphate is a non-detrital sedimentary rock which contains high amounts of phosphate minerals. The phosphate content of phosphorite (or grade of phosphate rock) varies greatly, from 4% to 20% phosphorus pentoxide (P2O5). Marketed phosphate rock is enriched ("beneficiated") to at least 28%, often more than 30% P2O5. This occurs through washing, screening, de-liming, magnetic separation or flotation. By comparison, the average phosphorus content of sedimentary rocks is less than 0.2%. The phosphate is present as fluorapatite Ca5(PO4)3F typically in cryptocrystalline masses (grain sizes < 1 μm) referred to as collophane-sedimentary apatite deposits of uncertain origin. It is also present as hydroxyapatite Ca5(PO4)3OH or Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2, which is often dissolved from vertebrate bones and teeth, whereas fluorapatite can originate from hydrothermal veins. Other sources also include chemically dissolved phosphate minerals from igneous and metamorphic rocks. Phosphorite deposits often occur in extensive layers, which cumulatively cover tens of thousands of square kilometres of the Earth's crust.

Vesuvianite sorosilicate mineral

Vesuvianite, also known as idocrase, is a green, brown, yellow, or blue silicate mineral. Vesuvianite occurs as tetragonal crystals in skarn deposits and limestones that have been subjected to contact metamorphism. It was first discovered within included blocks or adjacent to lavas on Mount Vesuvius, hence its name. Attractive-looking crystals are sometimes cut as gemstones. Localities which have yielded fine crystallized specimens include Mount Vesuvius and the Ala Valley near Turin, Piedmont.

Andradite garnet, nesosilicate mineral

Andradite is a species of the garnet group. It is a nesosilicate, with formula Ca3Fe2Si3O12.

Aegirine pyroxene mineral

Aegirine is a member of the clinopyroxene group of inosilicate minerals. Aegirine is the sodium endmember of the aegirine-augite series. Aegirine has the chemical formula NaFeSi2O6 in which the iron is present as Fe3+. In the aegirine-augite series the sodium is variably replaced by calcium with iron(II) and magnesium replacing the iron(III) to balance the charge. Aluminium also substitutes for the iron(III). It is also known as acmite, which is a fibrous, green-colored variety.

Beryllonite phosphate mineral

Beryllonite is a rare sodium beryllium phosphate mineral with formula NaBePO4. The tabular to prismatic monoclinic crystals vary from colorless to white or pale yellowish, and are transparent with a vitreous luster. Twinning is common and occurs in several forms. It exhibits perfect cleavage in one direction. The hardness is 5.5 to 6 and the specific gravity is 2.8. Refractive indices are nα = 1.552, nβ = 1.558 and nγ = 1.561. A few crystals have been cut and faceted, but, as the refractive index is no higher than that of quartz, they do not make very brilliant gemstones.

Fluorapatite phosphate mineral

Fluorapatite, often with the alternate spelling of fluoroapatite, is a phosphate mineral with the formula Ca5(PO4)3F (calcium fluorophosphate). Fluorapatite is a hard crystalline solid. Although samples can have various color (green, brown, blue, yellow, violet, or colorless), the pure mineral is colorless as expected for a material lacking transition metals. Along with hydroxylapatite, it can be a component of tooth enamel.

Eosphorite phosphate mineral

Eosphorite is a brown (occasionally pink) manganese hydrous phosphate mineral with chemical formula: MnAl(PO4)(OH)2·H2O. It is used as a gemstone.

Taranakite phosphate mineral

Taranakite is a hydrated alkali iron-aluminium phosphate mineral with chemical formula (K,Na)3(Al,Fe3+)5(PO4)2(HPO4)6·18H2O. It forms from the reaction of clay minerals or aluminous rocks with solutions enriched in phosphate derived from bat or bird guano or, less commonly, from bones or other organic matter. Taranakite is most commonly found in humid, bat inhabited caves near the boundary of guano layers with the cave surface. It is also found in perennially wet coastal locations that have been occupied by bird colonies. The type location, and its namesake, the Sugar Loaf Islands off Taranaki, New Zealand, is an example of a coastal occurrence.

Druse (geology)

In geology, druse, also known as drusy or druzy, refers to a coating of fine crystals on a rock fracture surface, vein or within a vug or geode.

Minyulite phosphate mineral

Minyulite is a rare phosphate mineral with a chemical formula of KAl2(OH,F)(PO4)2·4(H2O).

Taaffeite nolanite module; BeTM₄O₈

Taaffeite (; BeMgAl4O8) is a mineral, named after its discoverer Richard Taaffe (1898–1967) who found the first sample, a cut and polished gem, in October 1945 in a jeweler's shop in Dublin, Ireland. As such, it is the only gemstone to have been initially identified from a faceted stone. Most pieces of the gem, prior to Taaffe, had been misidentified as spinel. For many years afterwards, it was known only in a few samples, and it is still one of the rarest gemstone minerals in the world.


  1. 1 2 Handbook of Mineralogy
  2. Webmineral
  3. 1 2 Mindat
  4. Klein, Corneis and Cornelius S. Hurlbut, Jr., Manual of Mineralogy, Wiley, 20th ed. 1985, p. 362-3 ISBN   0-471-80580-7
  5. Gemstones: Properties, Identification and Use By Arthur Thomas, p.132