In this post, we reveal everything you need to know about variscite, including its meaning, properties, types, colors, and uses. Let's get started!
Variscite; If you’ve never heard this name before, you’re not the first! A vibrant and versatile mineral, variscite is a captivating stone with a long, fascinating history. In this guide we’ll delve into the various aspects of the crystals, including formation, characteristics, uses in jewelry, and even its significance in the realm of metaphysical and healing properties. Ready?
In this article we discuss the following:
- Variscite Meaning
- What is Variscite?
- What is Variscite Used for
- Variscite Pronunciation
- What does Variscite Look Like?
- What Type of Gemstone is Variscite?
- Variscite Chakra
- Where is Variscite Found?
- Variscite in Utah
- Where to Find Variscite in Utah?
- Australian Variscite
- New Lander Variscite
- Clay Canyon Variscite
- Variscite Properties
- Variscite Metaphysical Properties
- Variscite Healing Properties
- Variscite vs Turquoise
- What is the Difference Between Variscite and Turquoise?
- Variscite Types
- Raw Variscite
- Variscite Tumbled
- Variscite Color
- Blue Variscite
- Green Variscite
- Rainbow Variscite
- Red Variscite
- Purple Variscite
- Variscite Jewelry
- Variscite Cabochon
- Australian Variscite Cabochon
- Variscite Ring
- Variscite Earrings
- Variscite Necklace
- Variscite Pendant
- Variscite Bracelet
- Variscite Uses
- Variscite Beads
- Variscite Slab
- How to Cut Rough Variscite
- How to Charge Variscite
- Variscite for Sale
- Variscite Rough for Sale
- Variscite on Etsy
Variscite stone is believed to possess deep spiritual meaning and significance. It is often associated with serenity, inner peace, and emotional healing… but we’ll offer more on this later on, so keep reading. When it comes to variscite facts, this is a mineral that falls under the phosphate class.
It typically occurs as a green-colored gemstone, varying in shades from light to deep green. It is composed of hydrated aluminum phosphate and is known for its waxy luster.
What is Variscite?
As mentioned above, variscite is a rare and richly colored phosphate mineral that is typically green in color. This stone is most often used as a gemstone in jewelry due to its very eye-catching luster, easily becoming a prized possession amongst any collector’s pieces.
Being a hydrated aluminum phosphate, this is a mineral that contains a significant amount of water within its structure. This makes variscite a rare example of a naturally occurring hydrous phosphate, with its chemical formula being AlPO4·2H2O.
What is Variscite Used for?
From spiritual healing to jewelry design and beyond, variscite gemstones are versatile and sought after across a number of industries. Variscite is even utilized in the creation of ornamental objects, such as carvings and small sculptures. Additionally, it has industrial applications as a potential source of aluminum and phosphate compounds.
The correct pronunciation of variscite is VAIR-uh-site. That said, one can also get away with another common pronunciation, VUH-ris-ite.
What does Variscite Look Like?
Variscite typically appears as a green gemstone, ranging in color from light minty green to deeper shades of emerald or forest green. Its color is often mottled or marbled, with patterns resembling waves or swirls. As mentioned above, this stone holds a waxy or sometimes pearly luster, giving it a naturally polished appearance.
What Type of Gemstone is Variscite?
Variscite mineral is a hydrated aluminum phosphate mineral and belongs to the phosphate class of crystals. The precise mineral composition of variscite is primarily aluminum phosphate, and it usually contains minor impurities and trace elements that can influence its color, such as chromium or iron.
Variscite gem is commonly associated with the heart chakra. This chakra is connected to emotions, love, compassion, and harmonious relationships. Variscite can be used to stimulate the heart’s energy center, in turn promoting a sense of emotional healing, and the ability to express love and empathy.
It is said to help “open the heart”, and release emotional blockages in order to enhance one's connection with others.
Where is Variscite Found?
Variscite is found in several locations around the world. Some of the notable sources of variscite include Nevada, USA, where the most well-known deposit is the Little Green Monster Mine in Carico Lake, which produces high-quality variscite known as desert bloom variscite.
Variscite deposits can also be found in Germany, specifically in areas like Bavaria and Saxony. Then there’s the variscite mines in Brazil, with notable deposits in the state of Minas Gerais. Even Poland has known variscite deposits in the Silesia region.
Variscite in Utah
Believe it or not, Utah is known for its variscite. The state has several locations where variscite can be found, specifically in Utah County, where the Fairfield District is an important variscite-producing region. Variscite in Fairfield Utah is typically found in nodules similar to those in the Lucin District.
Where to Find Variscite in Utah?
Located in Box Elder County, the Lucin District is also one of the most famous variscite-producing areas in Utah. Here, variscite forms in nodules within nodular limestone, creating beautiful green gemstones. Then there is also the Thomas Range in Juab County known as Clay Canyon.
Clay Canyon is known for its diverse range of minerals, including variscite. This area is considered to have yielded specimens of variscite with exquisite coloration.
Australian variscite is found in Western Australia in several locations. One of them is Milgun Station, located in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia, which has been a notable source of variscite for decades.
Situated in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, Mount Deverell is also known for its variscite deposits. The variscite found here tends to exhibit beautiful patterns and matrices, which collectors fight to get a hold of. Lastly, there is a place called Maude Creek, located in the East Pilbara region of Western Australia, that has also produced high quality variscite.
New Lander Variscite
New Lander variscite is a specific type of variscite crystal that comes from the New Lander Mine in Nevada, USA. The mine is located in the northern part of the state, in Lander County. It is named after the county in which it is situated.
The New Lander Mine has been a significant source of variscite since its discovery in the early 20th century. The gemstone is highly sought after for its unique color and pattern combinations, and it is particularly popular among collectors of American gemstones.
Clay Canyon Variscite
We touched on the Utah variscite mines above, but Clay Canyon is always one to take a closer look at. Variscite aside, Clay Canyon is a globally renowned location for its diverse range of minerals. Alongside variscite, the canyon is known to contain minerals such as beryl, topaz, fluorite, and red beryl (also known as bixbite), making it a valuable destination for mineral collectors.
Like all crystals, the properties on offer when working with variscite range from metaphysical to physical - and what you get out of the stone very much depends on what you put in, energy-wise of course!
Variscite Metaphysical Properties
From a spiritual or metaphysical sense, variscite is believed to have a soothing and calming energy that can help alleviate emotional stress and tension. It is used to promote emotional healing, release negative emotions, and encourage a sense of inner peace and tranquility.
As we learned earlier on, variscite is associated with the heart chakra, which is connected to love, compassion, and relationships. By bringing balance to the heart chakra, one can enhance one's ability to give and receive love, fostering empathy and understanding, and promoting harmonious connections in the world.
Variscite Healing Properties
In the physical realm, variscite can be used to bring a number of ailments into balance, including having a calming effect on the nervous system. It is believed to be a stone that can help reduce stress, anxiety, and restlessness, promoting a sense of relaxation and tranquility.
Variscite is also often associated with supporting the digestive system. It can work to alleviate digestive issues such as abdominal pain, inflammation, and digestive discomfort, when used thoughtfully and properly.
Variscite vs Turquoise
Variscite and turquoise are often confused for one another due to their vastly similar appearances. To an untrained eye, there isn’t much difference to them, however if you know what to look for, there are distinct differences between the two gemstones.
What is the Difference Between Variscite and Turquoise?
The first factor is composition. Variscite is a hydrated aluminum phosphate mineral, while turquoise is a hydrous copper aluminum phosphate. The difference in composition gives variscite a softer and more crumbly nature compared to the harder and more durable turquoise.
Moving to the color wheel, both variscite and turquoise are known for their vibrant green and blue-green colors, hence all the confusion! However, for the most part, variscite tends to have a range of green shades, while turquoise is more commonly associated with a distinct blue-green hue. Of course, variations in color can occur with both gemstones depending on their impurities and inclusions.
Then there’s the matrix. Matrix refers to the host rock or material that contains and surrounds the gemstone. Turquoise often has matrix patterns in brown, black, or other earthy colors due to the presence of iron or other minerals. Variscite can also have matrix, but it is typically less defined and can vary in color.
Aside from the different geological types of variscite (location-dependent) listed above, there are two main ‘types’ when it comes to variscite identification: Raw versus tumbled.
Raw variscite is simply the natural, unprocessed form of the variscite mineral. It appears as a rough, uncut stone with a varying degree of coloration and texture, as well as sharp edges that have yet to be polished down.
You may be wondering who would even choose a raw stone over one that has been nicely tumbled, but the truth is that raw variscite is often utilized by lapidaries, gem cutters, or jewelry artisans who shape and polish the stone into their own desired forms, such as cabochons, beads, or even sculptural pieces. Variscite rough is valued for its natural beauty!
When we say tumbled, we are referring to variscite that has been polished and shaped into smooth, rounded pieces. Tumbling is a process where rough stones are placed in a machine that tumbles them with abrasive materials, gradually wearing away the rough edges and creating a smooth, polished surface.
Tumbled variscite stones are most popular among those who use crystals for healing purposes, as they are easy to carry, hold, or place on the body during practices and therapies. They can be used in meditation, energy work, or simply kept as a decorative piece in a healer’s space.
Surprisingly, while variscite is predominantly known for its green color, it can actually occur in various shades and hues. The specific shade of the crystals will be influenced by factors such as impurities, trace elements, and geological conditions during formation.
In addition to green, variscite can exhibit secondary colors or variations, which include blue-green, turquoise, or even hints of yellow or brown.
Blue Variscite typically occurs in deposits that have high trace element content, particularly elements like chromium or iron. These trace elements work to modify the color of the usually green variscite, producing the blue or blue-green hues.
The intensity of the blue in blue variscite can vary, ranging from very light pastel blues to deeper, more saturated blues reminiscent of turquoise — now you know why this confusion occurs so often!
We’re no stranger to green variscite at this point. But something not many would know is that variscite in general is actually considered quite a rarity. Natural green variscite is considered a collector's gemstone and can command high prices in the market!
Like normal green variscite, rainbow variscite is also a hydrated aluminum phosphate mineral. However, it has additional mineral inclusions and impurities that give it its distinct multi-colored appearance, just like a rainbow.
Rainbow variscite can display colors such as green, yellow, blue, brown, and red, all in one stone. These colors form swirling patterns or patches within the crystal, creating a beautiful effect. When it comes to metaphysical properties, rainbow variscite is believed to have a calming and soothing energy, and can work with any charka on the color spectrum!
Red variscite is a relatively rare variety of this stone family that presents in hues of red or pink. Typically, the presence of iron oxide (hematite) or other iron compounds is responsible for the reddish coloration.
Red variscite is thus found in specific geological environments where the necessary conditions for its formation exist. It is relatively uncommon compared to its green variscite counterparts, but sources of red variscite include Utah in the United States, Germany, and Brazil.
The exact cause of purple variscite's coloration is still a topic of discussion among geologists and gemologists. Some propose that the purple color is due to the presence of manganese impurities. Manganese has shown to create a range of colors, including purple, in various other minerals, so it is easy to assume that in variscite it would do the same.
Other theories suggest that the purple hue may be caused by the presence of iron or vanadium impurities. However, more research is needed to definitively determine the cause of purple variscite's coloration. In conclusion, yes, purple variscite is rare and we simply don’t know enough about it at this point.
Variscite has a hardness of about 4.5 to 5.5 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. This tells us that it has a relatively low level of hardness compared to other gemstones, but is still relatively suitable for jewelry-making purposes.
A variscite cabochon refers to a variscite gemstone that has been cut and polished into a smooth, rounded shape with a flat back and a convex polished top. Cabochons are a popular cut for variscite that is used to make jewelry, especially authentic Utah variscite jewelry!
Australian Variscite Cabochon
As we know, Australia is known for its abundant deposits of variscite, particularly in the western regions. These particular cabochons are popular choices for jewelry makers due to their vibrant colors and distinctive appearance. They can be used to create almost any piece of jewelry, including rings, pendants, earrings, and bracelets.
Rings tend to be the riskiest business when it comes to choosing crystals, as our hands tend to bang into things all day long and pose risk to any stones. The durability of a variscite ring can depend on several factors, including the quality of the variscite itself and how it is set in the ring setting.
While variscite is not as hard as some other gemstones, it can still be suitable for use in rings if appropriate precautions are taken. Bezel settings, which provide a secure surround for the gemstone, can help protect the variscite from accidents.
If you’re the type of person who seeks to feel more balanced from crystals, then earrings are the way to go. With one in each ear, sitting on each hemisphere of the body, a balancing effect is imminent and the variscite stones can deliver their properties evenly through the body.
More than this, variscite earrings can also be worn on a daily basis to elevate your everyday style. They are versatile and can be paired with casual attire or even professional attire, depending on the design and setting and, most importantly, this is a gentle enough stone that doesn’t pose risk of headaches or fatigue due to extensive wear.
We know that variscite is linked to the heart chakra. Typically, heart-centered stones are best worn around the neck as necklaces, putting them in close proximity to the energy center in question for optimal effect. Because variscite is not linked to any particular month or birthstone, it makes for a great gift to anyone, of any gender!
What would a variscite pendant be used for, you ask? There’s a lot one can do with a pendant form of crystal, but typically the most common use is that of a pendulum for energy work. Pendulums aside, variscite pendants make for great keychains, necklaces, and lucky charms - you can even carry one in your wallet to reap the benefits as you go about your day.
When we want to obtain the physical healing benefits from a crystal, it is wise to wear the stone on the wrists. This is because the wrists are the quickest route into the bloodstream, and thus the rest of the body, so the healing properties are quickly distributed and sent to wherever they are most needed.
Variscite bracelets are fantastic gifts, and you might find them in beaded, string-like styles, or bezeled in metal work for that cuff-style.
We should note that variscite is not commonly used in large-scale industrial applications due to its softer nature. It is primarily utilized in the realm of gemstones, jewelry, and decorative arts where its unique beauty can be appreciated. That said, there are some exceptions - read on!
All crystal beads are made via the tumbling process that we touched on earlier in this article. Raw stones are rolled with abrasive materials until they themselves are void of any rough, sharp edges. Leave them to tumble long enough, and eventually you’ll have variscite beads!
These can be bought in bulk online, or you might find ready-made jewelry pieces on offer to add to your collection! Variscite beads tend to make a statement, given their vibrant hue is pretty hard to miss in a crowd.
A variscite slab… what’s that? A variscite slab refers to a flat piece of variscite gemstone that has been cut and polished on at least one side. Unlike variscite cabochons or beads, which are rounded, slabs are typically used for lapidary purposes or as display pieces.
A common use for crystal slabs is for the cleaning and recharging of other stones, simply by placing them on the slab itself, and leaving them to rebalance on their own time.
How to Cut Rough Variscite
Cutting crystals is not something we would typically recommend to amateurs, and you’ll probably benefit from handing the task over to a trained professionals. You’ll need to work with a diamond saw or tile saw with a diamond-encrusted blade, and this can be tricky if you’re not familiar with these tools.
If you are, and you wish to go ahead with cutting your variscite, be sure to saw steadily through the stone on an even surface, and keep ample water nearby so that you can keep the saw cool throughout the process (this is important to maintain the integrity of the crystal).
How to Charge Variscite
If you are using your variscite stone for aesthetic purposes only, then there is no need to worry about cleansing or recharging. However if you are making use of this crystal in energy work, meditation or healing practices, then cleansing and recharging are required on a fairly regular basis.
The following methods can be used to cleanse and charge your variscite stone:
- Bury the crystal in the garden, and leave it to sit beneath the earth overnight.
- Leave the stone out overnight during the full moon.
- Burn cleaning substances over the stone, such as incense or oils.
- Hold the variscite under running water for a few minutes.
- Place the variscite onto a slab crystal of any kind, and allow them to cleanse and recharge one another.
Variscite for Sale
When it comes to variscite worth, the market is broad and varying. As of September 2021, variscite can range in price from a few dollars per carat for lower-grade material to over $100 per carat for high-quality, rare, and large specimens.
To be more specific about variscite value, lower quality variscite can be bought for a few dollars per carat, while mid-grade variscite can range from around $10 to $30 per carat. Exceptionally high-quality variscite with vivid color, excellent uniformity, and minimal inclusions can ask for $50 per carat or more.
Variscite Rough for Sale
Rough cut stones are just as sought after as their perfect, polished counterparts. You should be able to buy high quality pieces at decent prices on e-commerce platforms such as eBay or Amazon.
There are many reputable sellers on these sites, but there are always going to be scammers. Be sure to read the reviews before agreeing to purchase anything — and ask for authentication whenever it feels needed.
Variscite on Etsy
If you’re shopping for variscite on Etsy, then it’s likely you’re more in the market for polished stones that have already been made into stunning pieces of jewelry. Etsy is the place for this; a hub where freelance jewelry designers come to share their creations with buyers like yourself. From bracelets to earrings and everything in between, your variscite dreams are about to come true — happy shopping!