Wavellite Crystal Mineral Specimen
HISTORY, NAME, LOCALITIES: Wavellite (pronounced Wah-VELL-ite) was recognized as a mineral species in 1805 by British physician and amateur earth scientist William Wavell. It was named in his honor in 1818. Notable collecting localities are in Mexico, Namibia, Australia, Bolivia, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, England, China, and the United States (Arkansas, Alabama, Virginia, Pennsylvania).
MINERALOGY, PROPERTIES, OCCURRENCE: Wavellite [basic hydrous aluminum fluorophosphate, Al3(PO4)2(OH,F)3·5H2O] crystallizes in the orthorhombic system as short-to-long prisms in spherical or semi-hemispherical, radial aggregates, and in botryoidal and stalactitic forms. It has a Mohs hardness of 3.5-4.0, perfect cleavage in one direction, a vitreous luster, an uneven-to-subconchoidal fracture, and a specific gravity of 2.3-2.4. Wavellite is usually green, greenish-blue, or turquoise-blue, but it can also be nearly colorless, white, green, yellow, gray, or brown. It a relatively rare mineral that develops from low-grade metamorphism of aluminous rocks and phosphate deposits and also occurs in the alteration zones of epithermal veins.
METAPHYSICAL PROPERTIES, LORE, USES: Despite its rarity, wavellite was once mined as a minor ore of phosphorus. It currently has no technological uses. Metaphysical practitioners believe that wavellite helps in assessing situations, making wise decisions, and facilitating the flow of energy to the physical body.
COLLECTORS’ INFORMATION: Wavellite is widely collected for its unusual chemistry, range of colors, radiating structure, and botryoidal forms.