Phosphophyllite

Phosphophyllite (classic textbook twins) with Siderite and Sphalerite Locality: Unificada mine, Cerro Rico, Potosi, Potosi Department, Bolivia Specimen Size: 3.1 x 2.2 x 1.6 cm (thumbnail) Largest Crystal: 2 mm © minclassics

Chemical Formula: Zn2Fe(PO4)2·4H2O
Name Origin: Named after its chemical composition containing phosphorus and the Greek fyllon – meaning “leaf.”
Phosphophyllite is a rare mineral composed of hydrated zinc phosphate. Its name derives from its chemical composition (phosphate) and the Greek word for “leaf”, phyllon, a reference to its cleavage. It is highly prized by collectors for its rarity and for its delicate bluish green colour. Phosphophyllite is rarely cut because it is fragile and brittle, and large crystals are too valuable to be broken up.

The finest phosphophyllite crystals come from Potosí, Bolivia, but it is no longer mined there. Other sources include New Hampshire, USA and Hagendorf, Bavaria, Germany. It is often found in association with the minerals chalcopyrite and triphylite.

History

Discovery date : 1920
Town of Origin: PEGMATITE DE HAGENDORF, OBERPFALZ, BAVIERE
Country of Origin : ALLEMAGNE

Optical properties

Optical and misc. Properties: Transparent  –   Luminescent, fluorescent  –   Gemme, pierre fine  –   Fragile, cassant  –   Macles possibles  –
Refractive Index: from 1,59 to 1,61
Axial angle 2V: 44,3°

Physical properties

Hardness : from 3,00 to 3,50
Density : 3,13
Color : colorless; bluish green; blue green; pale green
Luster: vitreous
Streak: white
Break: irregular
Cleavage: yes

Photos :

Phosphophyllite Locality: Huayllani mine, Infiernillos mine, Huayllani, Machacamarca District, Saavedra Province, Potosi Department, Bolivia Specimen Size: 5.2 x 3.7 x 1.8 cm (small cabinet) Largest Crystal: 5 mm minclassics
Phosphophyllite (classic “butterfly” twins) Locality: Huayllani mine, Infiernillos mine, Huayllani, Machacamarca District, Saavedra Province, Potosi Department, Bolivia (new locality for Phosphophyllite in Bolivia) Specimen Size: 3.3 x 2.1 x 1.7 cm (miniature) Largest Crystal: 2.3 cm © minclassics
Phosphophyllite Unificada Mine, Cerro de Potosi, Potosi City, Potosi Department, Bolivia Thumbnail, 18 x 9 x 6 mm; 10.32 cts © irocks
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