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Wavellite cluster from din Mountain Quarries, Mauldin Mt., Montgomery County, Arkansas, USA
Category Phosphate minerals
(repeating unit)
Strunz classification 8.DC.50
Crystal system Orthorhombic
Crystal class Dipyramidal (mmm)
H-M symbol: (2/m 2/m 2/m)
Space group Pcmn
Unit cell a = 9.621 Å
b = 17.363 Å,
c = 6.994 Å; Z = 4
Color Green to yellowish-green and yellow, brown, white and colorless
Crystal habit Spherical, radial aggregates; striated prisms; crusty to stalactitic
Cleavage [110] perfect, [101] good, [010] distinct
Fracture Uneven to subconchoidal
Mohs scale hardness 3.5 - 4
Luster Vitreous to resinous, pearly
Streak White
Diaphaneity Translucent
Specific gravity 2.36
Optical properties Biaxial (+)
Refractive index nα = 1.518 - 1.535 nβ = 1.524 - 1.543 nγ = 1.544 - 1.561
Birefringence δ = 0.026
Pleochroism Weak; X = greenish; Z = yellowish
2V angle Measured: 60° to 72°
Fusibility Infusable, swells and splits on heating
Solubility Insoluble
References [1][2][3][4]

Wavellite is a phosphate mineral with formula Al3(PO4)2(OH, F)3·5H2O. It normally occurs as translucent green radial or spherical clusters.

Discovery and occurrence[edit]

Wavellite from the Avant Mine, Garland County, Arkansas, showing spherical structure (size: 3.4 x 2.0 x 1.1 cm)

It was first described in 1805 for an occurrence at High Down, Filleigh, Devon, England and named for William Wavell of England who brought the mineral to the attention of the Scientific community.[3]

It occurs in association with crandallite and variscite in fractures in aluminous metamorphic rock, in hydrothermal regions and in phosphate rock deposits.[1] It is found in a wide variety of locations notably in the Mount Ida, Arkansas area in the Ouachita Mountains.

It is sometimes used as a gemstone.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Handbook of Mineralogy
  2. ^ Webmineral
  3. ^ a b Mindat
  4. ^ Klein, Corneis and Cornelius S. Hurlbut, Jr., Manual of Mineralogy, Wiley, 20th ed. 1985, p. 362-3 ISBN 0-471-80580-7
  5. ^ Gemstones: Properties, Identification and Use By Arthur Thomas, p.132

External links[edit]