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variscite

[var-uh-sahyt] /ˈvær əˌsaɪt/
noun
1.
a secondary mineral, hydrated phosphate of aluminum, Al(PO 4)⋅2H 2 O, occurring mainly as massive, bluish-green nodules: sometimes used as a gem.
Origin
< German Variscit, named after Variscia Latinized German district name; see -ite1
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for variscite

variscite

/ˈværɪˌsaɪt/
noun
1.
a green secondary mineral consisting of hydrated aluminium phosphate
Word Origin
from Medieval Latin Variscia, the district of Vogtland in Saxony
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for variscite

phosphate mineral, hydrated aluminum phosphate (AlPO42H2O), which is valued as a semiprecious gemstone and an ornamental material. Both variscite and strengite, a similar mineral in which iron replaces aluminum in the crystal structure, occur as glassy nodules, veins, or crusts, in near-surface deposits: variscite is produced by the action of phosphate-rich waters on aluminous rocks, and strengite by alteration of iron-containing phosphates. Variscite is usually green; strengite, red. Variscite occurs in Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Congo (Kinshasa), and Australia and in commercially important quantities near Fairfield, Utah, U.S. It also occurs with apatite on islands where phosphatic solutions from guano (seafowl excrement) have altered aluminous igneous rocks. Strengite deposits are known in Germany, Portugal, Sweden, and the United States. For detailed physical properties, see phosphate mineral (table)

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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