THE MINERAL WAVELLITE
- Chemistry: Al3(PO4)2(OH)3-(H2O)5, Hydrated Aluminum Phosphate Hydroxide
- Class: Phosphates
- Uses: only as mineral specimens
Wavellite is a mineral that demonstrates the classic radiating globule crystal habit.
In fact, you could say that wavellite is the type
mineral for this habit.
The habit produces a unique effect when the globules are imbedded in limestone and chert.
If the rock is fractured and some of the globules are cleaved through, then a nice radial cluster is seen.
The radial cluster will then reflect light to produce a sparkling pinwheel effect.
Although broken mineral specimens are generally not valued by collectors, the radial play of light can be rather pretty and makes for interesting specimens.
Although, a serious collector might not admit it, the more valuable specimens are those that are predominantly pristine, uncleaved clusters with at least a few cleaved globules to demonstrate the light play.
- Color is characteristically green but also white, colorless, yellow and brown.
- Luster is vitreous.
- Transparency crystals are transparent to translucent.
- Crystal System is orthorhombic; 2/m 2/m 2/m
- Crystal Habit is almost exclusively radiating acicular crystals forming globules or botryoidal masses.
- Cleavage is perfect in two directions.
- Fracture is uneven.
- Hardness is 3.5 - 4.
- Specific Gravity is approximately 2.3+ (light even for translucent minerals)
- Streak is white.
- Associated Minerals are quartz, micas, turquoise and limonite.
- Other Characteristics: surface of globules often have minute crystals giving off tiny sparkles.
- Notable Occurances include Arkansas and Pennsylvania, USA; Bolivia and England.
- Best Field Indicators are crystal habit, green color and softness.