Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Hypersphaerae variscia

Hypersphaerae variscia
Embellished Variscite Superball

Variscite is an end-member of the isomorphic row of variscite-strengite series of minerals. Like the garnet and feldspar groups, variscite-strengite minerals have an identical crystalline structure, but exhibit slightly varying composition. Owing to variscite's unique mode of occurrence, it is often formed and associated with other phosphate minerals, resulting in interesting veining, splotches and other coloring habits. Although all variscite is valued by collectors, emerald-green variscite from Utah and the black spider-webbed variscite from Nevada are among the most desirable.  Variscite may also be found in colors other than green, such as purple, orange, pink, red, brown or yellow.  If materials contain less iron than aluminum in their composition, reddish to violet colors will dominate.  Higher iron impurities will bring out more brownish tones.  (Source: https://www.gemselect.com/english/gem-info/variscite/variscite-info.php.)

H variscia specimens, like their namesake mineral, can be found in colors ranging from green to blue to red and pink, featuring the same veining of variegated "mineral deposits" and metallic gold and silver striations.  These elements are found both upon the subsurface of the colored core and in the clear coating of the skin as ribbons of pigment and materials.  These are—again, like their namesake mineral cousins—some of the most beautiful sphaeralogical species found.

Some variscite mineral examples:

Hypersphaerae variscia

Specimen box created by Henry J. Simonds for Super•Ball, held at The Mine Factory in Pittsburgh, Pa in 2013.

Materials: Salvaged frame with homemade walnut stain, wood, paint, contemporary balls, hardware, found brass plate and ink on paper.  

Photo courtesy of Headwater Media
©2013 Henry J. Simonds

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