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Phosphophyllite
Current inventory:  3 gems
 

Phosphophyllite

  
Phosphophyllite is named in allusion to its composition, being a phosphate, and structure, from the Greek word
phyllos for leaf, referring to its perfect cleavage.

Discovered in 1920;   IMA status: Valid (pre-IMA; Grandfathered).

 

Chemistry

 

 

Chemical Formula:

Zn2Fe(PO4)2  4(H2O)  Note: material from Bolivia lacks Manganese (Mn)

 

Hydrated Zinc Iron Phosphate

Molecular Weight:

448.40 gm

Composition:

Manganese

3.06 %

Mn

3.95 %

MnO

 

Zinc

29.17 %

Zn

36.30 %

ZnO

 

Iron

9.34 %

Fe

12.02 %

FeO

 

Phosphorus

13.82 %

P

31.66 %

P2O5

 

Hydrogen

1.80 %

H

16.07 %

H2O

 

Oxygen

42.82 %

O

 

 

 

 

100.00 %

 

100.00 %

= TOTAL OXIDE

 

 

Classification

   

   

Mineral Classification:

Phosphates

Strunz 8th Ed. ID:

7/C.11-10

Nickel-Strunz 10th Ed. ID:

8.CA.40

 

8 : PHOSPHATES, ARSENATES, VANADATES
C : Phosphates without additional anions, with H
2O
A : With small and large/medium cations

Related to:

None

Varieties:

None

Synonyms:

"The holy grail of minerals"

 

 

Crystal Data

   

   

Crystallography:

Monoclinic - Prismatic

Crystal Habit:

Crystals tend to be thick tabular on {100}, with {110}, {011}, {102}, {111}, {311}, many other forms, to 13 cm.

Twinning:

Common as contact twins giving “fishtail” shapes and as penetration twins, may be polysynthetic.

 

 

Physical Properties

   

 

Cleavage:

Perfect on {100}, Distinct on {010} and {102}

Fracture:

Uneven

Tenacity:

Brittle

Moh's Hardness:

3.0 - 3.5

Density:

3.08 - 3.13 (g/cm3)

Luminescence:

Fluorescent; violet under SW UV

Radioactivity:

Not Radioactive

Other:

Soluble in acids.

 

 

Optical Properties

   

   

Color:

Pale bluish green, sea-green, colorless; colorless in transmitted light.

Transparency:

Transparent

Luster:

Vitreous

Refractive Index:

1.595 - 1.620  Biaxial ( - )

Birefringence:

0.0210 - 0.0330

Dispersion:

Perceptible, r > v

Pleochroism:

X = colorless, Y = pale blue green, Z = pale blue green

 

 

Occurances

   

   

Geological Setting:

Typically a secondary mineral in zoned complex granite pegmatites, an alteration product of sphalerite and Fe–Mn phosphates; in hydrothermal vein deposits.

Common Associations:

Triplite, Triphylite, Sphalerite, Apatite, Vivianite, Rockbridgeite, Strengite, Phosphosiderite, Fairfieldite (Hagendorf, Germany).

Common Impurities:

Mn

Type Locality:

Hagendorf North Pegmatite (Meixner Feldspar Pit), Hagendorf, Waidhaus, Vohenstrauß, Oberpfälzer Wald, Upper Palatinate, Bavaria, Germany

Year Discovered:

1920

View mineral photos:

Phosphophyllite Mineral Photos and Locations

 

 

More Information

   

   

 

Mindat.org
Webmineral.com

 

 


Phosphophyllite's name means phosphate leaf in allusion to both its chemistry and its perfect cleavage. It is an extremely rare mineral and is one of the rarest gems in the world. Phosphophyllite is highly prized by both mineral specimen collectors and gem collectors for its unique and beautifully delicate bluish-green color. As a testament to its rarity, Phosphophyllite has been called "the holy grail of minerals."

Phosphophyllite is a rare zinc phosphate mineral that is only found in a few locations. Gem-quality crystals only come from the Unificada Mine, Cerro Rico, Potosí City, Potosí Department, Bolivia. The first crystals were found there in the mid-1950's in the Krause vein. None have been found since that are nearly as beautiful. Crystals have also been found at the Cornelia Mine, Hagendorf, Bavaria, Germany but these are very small and pale and do not come close to the amazing color of crystals from Bolivia. Very small, pale crystals have also been found at the Foote Mine, Kings Mountain District, Cleveland County, North Carolina, USA. Both of these locations only produce very small crystals that are too small to facet. Faceted gems are extremely rare because Phosphophyllite crystals are usually kept as mineral specimens. Most crystals found at the famous Bolivian locality are kept by mineral collectors so gem grade crystals are rarely available. Usually only broken crystals and fragments are used to facet gems so gems are typically small. Phosphophyllite crystals and gems are among the hardest to obtain and the most expensive.

Distribution: From the Type Locality at Hagendorf, Bavaria, Germany. At Pribyslavice, Czech Republic. From the Norrö pegmatite, on Rånö Island, Sweden. Extraordinary crystals in the Unificada mine, Cerro Rico, and from the Siglo XX mine, Llallagua, Potosí; in the Morococala mine, near Oruro, Bolivia. In the USA, at the Palermo #1 mine, near North Groton, Grafton County, New Hampshire; at Red  Hill, Rumford, and from Newry, Oxford County, Maine. On Reaphook Hill, near Blinman, Flinders Ranges, South Australia. From Kabwe (Broken Hill), Zambia.
 

  
Phosphophyllite gems for sale:

Phosphophyllite-002

Gem:

Phosphophyllite

Stock #:

PHOSP-002

Weight:

0.5100 ct

Size:

7.70 x 4.65 x 2.60 mm

Shape:

Custom Triangle

Color:

Bluish-Green

Clarity:

Eye Clean - VS2

Origin:

Unificada Mine, Potosi, Bolivia

Treatment:

None (natural)

Price:

$510.00    [ Make an offer ]

Pictures are of the actual gem offered for sale.
Gem images are magnified to show detail.

Phosphophyllite-002

This gem is the ideal bluish-green color unique to Phosphophyllite. It is a very bright and beautiful little gem. This is a chance to add a very rare gem to your collection.


Phosphophyllite-003
click on picture

Gem:

Phosphophyllite

Stock #:

PHOSP-003

Weight:

2.6975 ct

Size:

10.31 x 8.46 x 5.11 mm

Shape:

Oval

Color:

Bluish-Green

Clarity:

VS2 - SI2

Origin:

Unificada Mine, Potosi, Bolivia

Treatment:

None (natural)

Price:

$2,700.00    [ Make an offer ]

Pictures are of the actual gem offered for sale.
Gem images are magnified to show detail.

Phosphophyllite-003
click on picture

Please click on the pictures for larger views.

An extremely rare gem, and at an amazing size! This incredible gem has the ideal color for Phosphophyllite, a color almost unique in the gem world, a delicate bluish-green. This is a very rare chance to add one of the rarest gems in the world to your collection.


Phosphophyllite-005

Gem:

Phosphophyllite

Stock #:

PHOSP-005

Weight:

0.2060 ct

Size:

4.00 x 1.92 mm

Shape:

Round

Color:

Bluish-Green

Clarity:

Eye Clean - VS2

Origin:

Unificada Mine, Potosi, Bolivia

Treatment:

None (natural)

Price:

$206.00    [ Make an offer ]

Pictures are of the actual gem offered for sale.
Gem images are magnified to show detail.

Phosphophyllite-005

This gem is the ideal bluish-green color unique to Phosphophyllite. It is a very bright and beautiful little gem. This is a chance to add a very rare gem to your collection.


Phosphophyllite-001

Gem:

Phosphophyllite

Stock #:

PHOSP-001

Weight:

0.2415 ct

Size:

3.98 x 2.17 mm

Shape:

Round

Color:

Bluish-Green

Clarity:

Eye Clean

Origin:

Unificada Mine, Potosi, Bolivia

Treatment:

None (natural)

Price:

SOLD

Pictures are of the actual gem offered for sale.
Gem images are magnified to show detail.

Phosphophyllite-001

This gem is the ideal bluish-green color unique to Phosphophyllite. It is a very bright and beautiful little gem. This is a chance to add a very rare gem to your collection.


Phosphophyllite-004

Gem:

Phosphophyllite

Stock #:

PHOSP-004

Weight:

0.1980 ct

Size:

3.90 x 1.93 mm

Shape:

Round

Color:

Bluish-Green

Clarity:

Eye Clean - VS2

Origin:

Unificada Mine, Potosi, Bolivia

Treatment:

None (natural)

Price:

SOLD

Pictures are of the actual gem offered for sale.
Gem images are magnified to show detail.

Phosphophyllite-004

This gem is the ideal bluish-green color unique to Phosphophyllite. It is a very bright and beautiful little gem. This is a chance to add a very rare gem to your collection.


 


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