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Variquoise rough prices


#1

Hi folks,

Would anyone happen to know what the going rate is on variquoise
rough (wholesale or retail) these days? Assume it’s sold per gm or
karat basis now. Found some that I wanted to offer a fair price for
but haven’t a clue what that is. Perhaps there’s a lapidary in the
group who’s “in the know”?

Thank you for any help with this question, Have a great day!

Carol


#2

Carol,

I bought rough variquoise in 1998. It was a high grade lot from the
"Blue Lady" mine in Nevada. I paid wholesale $110 per kilo. This was
mostly 5-15 gram pieces, all natural, and a variety of patterns. Very
little waste in this lot. I considered this a very giod price.
Individual stone sell for $35 - $50 per stone.

Gerry Galarneau, still hunkered down getting ready for my Tucson
2004 September show in the Holidome.


#3

Variquoise? What’s that, pray tell?

Jerry in Kodiak


#4

Hi Jerry,

Variquoise (also often misspelled varaquoise) is basically variscite

  • turquoise and was found around Snowville, Utah. I’m not sure if
    anybody has agreed to what it truly is but that’s the only
    explanation I’ve seen for it. A good piece will have gobs of small,
    tightly packed orbs & a good bit of spiderwebbing (the pattern looks
    an awful lot like Damale or New Lander turquoise in my opinion) Oh,
    and it’s a soft green (ala variscite). It’s beautiful! And it ain’t
    cheap!

Clear as petrified mud? :-)~ Carol

p.s. Orchidian Gerry Galarneau has a variquoise cab on his website
(new cabs page 1) if you wanna see what the heck I’m trying to
describe. www.galarneausgems.com


#5

Jerry,

Check out the Rock and Gem Sept 1991 issue…it tells you all about
it. Essentially it is a variety of stone that is a cross between
variscite and turquoise. It apparently comes from Utah and one of the
earlier people to work with it was Nathan Bullock of Ogden. I have
never worked any of it, at least not that I know of as I do a lot of
variscite and turquoise but the pics on the cover of that R&G are
quite nice.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut2


#6

Variquoise? What’s that

jerry -

my theory on ‘new mineral’ names: after a mineral has become scarce
they mine the surrounding matrix, give it a bridging name & declare
a ‘new material’ on the market. variquoise is supposed to be a
cousin of turquoise & variscite - halfway between the two. i prefer
working with variscite - easy to cut, nice colors & patterns, takes
a great polish. there will be a test friday morning.

ive


#7

Perhaps thjis person meant variscite, often confused by some with
turquoise.

K Kelly


#8

Check out this site for more description of variquoise
(Vari(scite)+(tur)quoise.

http://www.cst.cmich.edu/users/dietr1rv/variscite.htm

Susan
Talislman Design
Denver


#9

All,

Variquoise is a bogus name which was coined for market hyping back
in the seventies. Turquoise and variscite are distinct minerals ,
but they do share some important attributes such as being easily
polished, having wide pattern and color variation and occuring in
phosphatic matrices. (both are phosphates ) On the other hand,
varfiscite is rarely plagued by porosity and, therefore, often
yields far more usable material per kilo.

One of the respondents to this string mentioned the 1991 article on
Variquoise in Rock and Gem.When I saw that photo I was shocked that
it seemed to be material from my own mine in Columbus , Nev. The
article claimed that it was from a certain occurence in Utah.
Regardless, it was certainly not Variquoise but a typical variscite
which might have occured in many of the numerous variscite locales
in Nevada.

In my experience there has never been a well established price
structure for variscite. Demand for it has always been limited to
people who recognized its’ uniqueness and also appreciated its’
various shades of green. Therein lies the rub…variscite has no
romance attached to it. I have oftened cogitated about the apparent
put down that the suffix “ite” does to names in the gemstone
marketplace. Apparently it is too academic for romancing the stone
in the minds’ eye of the public. Another factor is the probability
that green is far less appealing than blue with the general public.
I seriously doubt that Moissanite will ever play a very important
role in the marketplace inspite of all the hype that has been
associated with it.

Ron MIlls @ Mills Gem Co. Los
Osos, Ca.


#10

Hi all:

OK. I’ll give you my opinion on the Variquoise, turquoise and
variscite discussion.

Variscite and turquoise do occur together as well as a mineral named
Chalcociderite. I have seen some bead sellers say Chalcociderite is
Turquoise that has turned green. They also say that another several
hundred thousand years later it turns to Variscite. What I have
studied I don’t think this is right. Turquoise can turn green from
oxidation, skin oils and others but I think there is more to it than
just oxidation.

If the deposit is near the surface most likely there will never be
any change. But, in the right conditions and local where the deposit
is deep in the earth and where the acids and minerals that water
picks up percolating through the earth it can change the molecular
structure some.

These stones are members of the Phosphate group and in
Chalcosiderite the ( iron replaces the aluminum) and to be called
faustite (zinc replaces the aluminum) and these do exist in
turquoise deposits but is usually only a partial replacement and the
blue turquoise color, SG and chemical composition also changes
slightly and still is considered turquoise. This also explains why
the standard make up of Turquoise of CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)8 - 4H2O
(Hydrated Copper Aluminum Phosphate) can vary and what gives color
changes from blues to greens.

Chalcosiderite and Faustite very rare minerals but a lot of times
green turquoise is called Chalcosiderite. To be true Chalcosiderite,
no aluminum and iron should be in the make-up.

On Variscite this is what I found: “Variscite AlPO4-2H2O, Hydrated
Aluminum Phosphate and when some of the aluminum is replaced by iron
and chromium the shades of greens/blue greens vary.”

Sometimes variscite has been called, Utahlite (gemmy nodules),
sabalite and trainite (banded patterned type), amatrice
(quartz/chalcedony matrix) , Australian jade and Australian
turquoise.

Are you confused yet :slight_smile: I am LOL

I guess you could say there’s a fine line between these and
Variquoise is just a ‘name’ given to greenish blue stones. I also
looked in 'GEMS: Their Descriptions and Identification" by Robert
Webster and found no reference to ‘variquoise’ at all.

http://topgems.homestead.com

Steve


#11
        Variquoise is a bogus name which was coined for market
hyping back in the seventies. Turquoise and variscite are distinct
minerals 

If you are saying this doesn’t exist you are wrong. I do not want to
start anything. However I belong to Golden Spike, I have cut some
and others have, as well as Bee Hive Club, people in Salt Lake and
elsewhere, I do not know if any subscribe to the list but they
clearly know the truth of it.

Anyone who cuts lapidary material knows or will know that material
is often not all of one thing. Azurite is a very good example, such
as azurite with malachite etc., etc. As to Variquoise the best piece
I have seen so far was a stone that in part was clearly variscite
with tans and browns while in part was clearly turquoise and was a
bright sky blue. (Its’ owner was not interested in a trade; I
tried.) That what it is, a rock with the two minerals combined. No
doubt variscite only (with perhaps webbing) has been sold as it, not
all dealers are honest and some do not know and don’ care, i.e.
copal sols as amber.

A good piece is dramatic and unusual as are some other materials that
are not all one mineral. There are a surprising number of them. This
combination (Variquoise) is not technically a separate mineral but
the name is a good handle as to what it is. I suppose that
variscite/turquoise or turquoise/variscite would be the correct label
but it is easier to say and recognized by those who know it. As for
getting some outside of a club member I do not know, Snowvill is
closed.


#12

Steve,

Thank you for the chemical info on Varicasite and Turquoise. I have
often wondered about the differences. I have always been partial to
the greens of the “old” Varicasite that I have.

I remember an old article about naming material. The gist of the
story was,“What do you call the material that was found laying in the
sun in the area of a power dam?” Hot by a dam site? Powerdamsite? or
Hotdamsite? or just plain ole Damsite? What ever sells! The magazine
that this came from was Earth Science if I remember right. It was
around in the early '60s. Sure would love to find the original
article.

Bill Churlik
@Bill_Churlik
www.earthspeakarts.com


#13
    If you are saying this doesn't exist you are wrong. I do not
want to start anything. However I belong to Golden Spike, I have
cut some and others have, as well as Bee Hive Club, people in Salt
Lake and elsewhere, I do not know if any subscribe to the list but
they clearly know the truth of it. 

Please look up turquois and varisite in Sinkankas’s book Gem Cutting,
and try and find a reference for what you are talking about. Please
find a reference somewhere that is legitmate.

Unless you have had the material tested and know what it is by it’s
chemical composition, taking someone’s word who made up a name of a
material by what it looks like is really unscientific and totally
inaccurate method. Pink sapphire is not ruby, sodalite is not lapis.
We need to know what materials actually are, not just make it up. If
you sell it as something it is not, it is fraud. Whether by intention
or ignorance makes not difference.


#14

Dear Wetyourlick.

I quite agree that your reference to the fact that it might be quite
possible for Turquoise and variscite to occur in the same matrix.
However, this is not the same issue. Variquoise has always been
applied to the variscite that bore a strong resemblance to Turquoise
patternwise. i.e. spiderweb.

If you refer to combinations of disparate minerals as distinct
species you might then refer to granite as quartzfelmica. Ron

Mills @ Mills Gem Co.
Los Osos, Ca.


#15
   I quite agree that your reference to the fact that it might be
quite possible for Turquoise and variscite to occur in the same
matrix. However, this is not the same issue. Variquoise has always
been applied to the variscite that bore a strong resemblance to
Turquoise patternwise. i.e. spiderweb. 

I agree that the variquoise which I have seen appears to be matrix
variscite, however, I think the issue is muddied because turquoise
colored by iron rather than copper would be chalcosideride rather
than variscite. Turquoise and chalcosiderite occupy opposite ends of
a range of the same basic material, turquoise being colored blue by
a preponderance of copper rather than iron, chalcosiderite being
colored green due to a preponderance of iron rather than copper.

I have purchased a number of cabs as chalcosiderite which look
identical to that material being marketed as variquoise.

Is it possible that what is being marketed as “variquoise” would
better be called “turquosiderite” due to it’s being somewhat in the
midpoint between turquoise and chalcosiderite?

Lee Einer
Dos Manos Jewelry
http://www.dosmanosjewelry.com


#16

All,

So let me get this straight. The piece I have is near white with
black matrix. It also has some very light blue in spots. If copper
together with aluminum in the phospate structure causes the blue in
turquoise: then I have a near white, natural, spiderweb turquoise. If
to be variscite it has to have aluminum without copper in the
phosphate structure which makes it green: there is no green in this
material. So what I really have is a natural white with black
spiderweb turquoise from Nevada or Utah or maybe Arizona… It is
another case where by just trying to be honest and passing on the
that the miner gave me you can go astray. I will not send
it in to get analysed because it is not worth the money. I will tell
which ever buyer I get the whole story as far as I know it. Anyone
have guesses? It is on my website. www.galarneausgems.com

Gerry Galarneau


#17

Hello Ron,

    If you refer to combinations of disparate minerals as distinct
species you might then refer to granite as quartzfelmica. 

First of all I am somewhat amazed at the amount of interest in this
stone. I had no idea that it had any value or any jewellery
importance

Stones such as Granite or Lapis Lazuli which are made up of many
minerals already have a name. Not particularly descriptive of the
contents so your suggestion might be educational.

I was wondering, do you, or any of the others horrified by joining
up bits of real names to make a new one, have an improved name for
what we have been ignorantly calling Ametrine?

Tony.


#18

Gemology- Varisite

Definition- Varisite is a hydrous aluminum phosphate. It was first
discovered in the Vogtland District of Germany. The material is
usually veined with other minerals such as millisite or wardite.
Colors of varisite vary only slightly between yellow green to
slightly darker greens. The material is often misidentified as
turquoise. Varisite is actually quite rare and beautiful. It is
inexpensive because it is not a well known; therefore there is
little demand for it.

http://galleryvoltaire.com/varisite.html

Notes: Any colors not as above, yellow green to slightly darker
greens, are not actually varisite, tans and browns often seen, are
in that part of a rock, not varisite. As for Snowvill material (if
from there) often just labeled varisite for common pieces, tests
have been done, and whatever you want to call it, it is chemically
wrong for varisite, strictly speaking. As also said Variquoise is
not recognized as a mineral, as are some other things, azurite
combinations are usually recognized by the mineral most in
abundance, sometimes a secondary mineral is named next, or not, this
pretty much describes the state of affairs. The best is seeing
separation as was described and too many people have seen that to
deny its’ existent.

On Variquoise, I looked it up and Bryson’s (up the road) wants $120
lb. I’ll pass, they are on the web and saw some on EBay, but. The
reason Snowvill closed is water tanks etc. were shot up, trash, etc.
and all access was closed, public or private, although talk has been
it might reopen, don’t hold your breath as like some rumors you might
die of old age while waiting. As a final note you can get varisite,
varisite, in a matrix that is spiderwebbed. Rumors of past giant
commercial mining operations are alien to people who have been
cutting it, it was small time and mostly not known even locally
except among rock hounds.


#19

Tony,

Now that we are at the hair-splittting end of a string, my answer
vis a vis Ametrine is that I think that it is a very appropriate
name for a combination of gems that are the same mineral ( quartz )
It beats the hell out of calling it purpyel quartz !

Ron Mills @ Mills Gem Co. Los Osos, Ca.


#20

Steve,

thanks for the info on variscite et.al. I was pretty sure that
torquoise and vaiscite could be found in close proximity to each
other, depending on mother nature’s mix of ingredients. Other’s
comments and the website referenced seem to support this.

" Variquoise " whether the name is a misnomer or hype or not, is one
of my favorite mixes of minerals. Though it seems hard to come by, I
personally delight in the particular mix that has light and dark
greens/browns in a mix with some “spiderwebbing”.

If anyone out there knows a good source for rough of this variety, I
would appreciate knowing about it.

steve in Oklahoma