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What Is Vivianite?

What Is Vivianite?

Vivianite is an iron phosphate mineral that occurs as short or long prismatic crystals in various geologic environments”in weathered phosphate deposits, clays, forest soils, lignite and peat, and in recent sediments. It also forms on or with organic materials like shells and fossils, sometimes even forming inside them.

Find out more about this exhilarating mineral crystal!

The Physical Properties of Vivianite

Its colour composition is a clever work of nature. Fresh vivianite is colourless but after exposure to air, its iron content oxidizes and the crystal turns into light blue, light green, dark green, dark blue, blue-green, or black. The colour transformation depends on the length of exposure.

Vivianite is also intensely pleochroic, meaning it shows different colours when viewed from different angles. It can reveal up to 3 colours: blue green, olive green, yellowish green, and indigo.

It's a soft mineral with a hardness similar to talc and gypsum (hardness rating of 1.5 to 2). Thin crystals can even be cut with a knife. It also has a perfect cleavage. Being a fragile material, vivianite isn't a good material for jewellery. You'll likely find this glassy crystal in mineral collections rather than in jewellery collections.

Overall, vivianite is considered an unstable mineral due to its softness and its tendency to change colours easily. Experts recommend storing vivianite specimens in a hard container and away from any light source.


The History of Vivianite

Vivianite was first found in Cornwall, U.K. In 1817, German mineralogist Abraham Gottlob Werner named it after John Henry Vivian in honour of the Welsh industrialist and politician who discovered the mineral.

High-quality vivianite specimens are found in Brazil, Bolivia, Germany, Mexico, and the USA.

According to geologists, this mineral has been found many times in human remains that turned partially blue. Case in point: Ötzi the Iceman, a 5,000-year-old corpse discovered in 1991 in the Ötztal Alps between Austria and Italy. Vivianite was also reportedly found in the remains of the American soldiers who died in a plane crash in South Vietnam.

Deep blue vivianite in cadavers forms when a corpse undergoes decomposition in an environment where iron and water are present. In this setting, the phosphate content in bones and teeth pour out into the surroundings of the corpse. As a result, phosphate interacts with iron and water molecules, leading to the formation of vivianite.

The presence of vivianite in human remains plays a role in preserving the cadaver as vivianite slows down decomposition rate. Vivianite also provides archaeologists information about the origin and nature of burial sites, as its presence suggests evidence of flooding or burial grounds.

The Lore of Vivianite

Health folklore claims that vivianite strengthens the heart, stimulates cell regeneration, and treats lung ailments. It is said to have energies that treat sexual dysfunction and increase libido.

Vivianite aids in detoxifying the body and reducing fever and inflammation. It helps children and adults to be connected to Mother Nature and develop a deep love of the environment.


The Metaphysical Properties of Vivianite

Vivianite can deepen your relationship with yourself and others. It fosters awareness and gentleness so you can develop more compassion toward yourself and other people. It increases your love for yourself and allows you to embrace your strongest qualities and even your flaws.

It's also known as a stone of love and peace, helping you become more caring, understanding, loving, and dedicated to people close to your heart.

Vivianite absorbs unwanted energies from your aura. It shakes off negative thought patterns and unpleasant feelings. It's a great stone to work with for people experiencing depression and anxiety. Additionally, this crystal stabilizes the emotions, quiets a restless mind, and calms emotions.


earthstory. (2017, July 29). Tumblr. Retrieved January 9, 2023, from https://the-earth-story.com/post/163545004262/when-the-bones-go-blue-vivianite-is-a-hydrated

International Gem Society LLC. (2022, August 23). Vivianite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information. International Gem Society. https://www.gemsociety.org/article/vivianite-jewelry-and-gemstone-information/

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. (1998, July 20). vivianite mineral. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/science/vivianite

Vivanite: The mineral vivanite information and pictures. (n.d.). https://www.minerals.net/mineral/vivianite.aspx

Vivianite Meanings and Crystal Properties. (n.d.). The Crystal Council. https://thecrystalcouncil.com/crystals/vivianite

Wikipedia contributors. (2022, December 5). Vivianite. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vivianite