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Phosphophyllite from Potosi, Bolivia (*)
Phosphophyllite is a rare mineral composed of hydrated zinc phosphate. Its name derives from its chemical composition (phosphate) and the Greek word for "leaf", phyllon, a reference to its cleavage. It is highly prized by collectors for its rarity and for its delicate bluish green colour. Phosphophyllite is rarely cut because it is fragile and brittle, and large crystals are too valuable to be broken up.
The finest phosphophyllite crystals come from Potosí, Bolivia, but it is no longer mined there. Other sources include New Hampshire, USA and Hagendorf, Bavaria, Germany. It is often found in association with the minerals chalcopyrite and triphylite.
1. ^ "Phosphophyllite". http://webmineral.com/data/Phosphophyllite.shtml. Retrieved on 2006-12-16.