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Variscite is a rare, hydrated aluminum phosphate mineral with the chemical formula AlPO4·2H2O. It was first discovered in 1837 in Variscia, now known as the Vogtland district of Germany, which is the origin of its name. Variscite exhibits a wide range of colors, including shades of green, blue-green, and even yellow-green, with its vibrant hues attributed to traces of chromium and vanadium. It has a waxy luster and a hardness of 3.5 to 4.5 on the Mohs scale, making it relatively soft and easy to carve.
Variscite is often found in association with other phosphate minerals, such as turquoise and apatite, in areas with phosphate-rich geological environments. Utah, Nevada, and New Mexico in the United States, as well as Brazil, Germany, and Australia, are some of the known sources of variscite deposits. Owing to its captivating color and unique patterns, variscite is highly valued as a gemstone and is frequently used in jewelry-making, particularly for cabochons and beads. Due to its rarity, variscite is also sought after by mineral collectors and enthusiasts.