|Wavellite from the Avant Mine, Garland County, Arkansas, showing spherical structure|
Photo: Rob Lavinsky
Wavellite is a very attractive mineral, well-known to collectors. Its radial aggregate crystal clusters can be cut into extremely interesting stones.
Wavellite is a phosphate mineral with formula Al3(PO4 )2(OH, F)3·5H2O. It normally occurs as translucent green radial or spherical clusters.
Wavellite exhibits different shades of green, which range from dark emerald green, apple green, bright green, to pale green.
It usually occurs in globular or hemispherical aggregates of botryoidal crusts on matrix, radiating crystals, or stalactitic deposits.
It occurs in association with crandallite and variscite in fractures in aluminous metamorphic rock, in hydrothermal regions and in phosphate rock deposits. It is found in a wide variety of locations notably in the Mount Ida, Arkansas area in the Ouachita Mountains.
It’s named after the English physician who first discovered it, William Wavell.
When broken across the spheres, wavellite exhibits a radial crystalline structure - the local old timers call it "cats-eye". Color may vary from light to dark green at this locale, the intensity of the color is due to how much vanadium is present in the structure of the mineral.
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