Help|Log In|Register|
Home PageMindat NewsThe Mindat ManualHistory of MindatCopyright StatusManagement TeamContact UsAdvertise on Mindat
Donate to MindatSponsor a PageSponsored PagesTop Available PagesMindat AdvertisersAdvertise on MindatThe Mindat Store
Minerals by PropertiesMinerals by ChemistryRandom MineralSearch by minIDLocalities Near MeSearch ArticlesSearch GlossaryMore Search Options
Search For:
Mineral Name:
Locality Name:
The Mindat ManualAdd a New PhotoRate PhotosLocality Edit ReportCoordinate Completion ReportAdd Glossary Item
StatisticsThe ElementsMember ListBooks & MagazinesMineral Shows & EventsThe Mindat DirectoryHow to Link to MindatDevice Settings
Photo SearchPhoto GalleriesNew Photos TodayNew Photos YesterdayMembers' Photo GalleriesPast Photo of the Day Gallery


This page is currently not sponsored. Click here to sponsor this page.
John Henry Vivian
Fe32+(PO4)2 · 8H2O
Colourless and ...
Vitreous, Pearly, Dull
1½ - 2
Member of:
Named by Abraham Gottlob Werner in 1817 after John Henry Vivian (August 9, 1785 - February 10, 1855), an English (Welsh-Cornish) politician, mine owner, and mineralogist living in Truro, Cornwall and discoverer of the mineral.
(Note: Many references erroneously state that the mineral was named for J. G. Vivian, but the middle initial seems to have been a typographical error.)
Dimorph of:
Vivianite Group

Usually found as deep blue to deep bluish green prismatic to flattened crystals, most crystals rather small to microscopic, larger ones rather rare.

When fresh the mineral may be colourless, or nearly so, and, once exposed, will oxidize with the Fe2+ converting to Fe3+ with a concurrent darkening to dark blue or blue-green - See Alfredo Petrov's article on Vivianite colour change.

A lower hydrate counterpart is known as 'UM1979-09-PO:FeH'.

Visit for gemological information about Vivianite.

Classification of Vivianite

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)

C : Phosphates without additional anions, with H2O
E : With only medium-sized cations, RO4:H2O about 1:2.5
Dana 7th ed.:

3 : A3(XO4)2·xH2O

19 : Phosphates
13 : Phosphates of Fe alone

Physical Properties of Vivianite

Vitreous, Pearly, Dull
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent, Translucent
Pearly on cleavage {010}, dull when massive.
Colourless and transparent when fresh, quickly turning pale to deep blue, greenish-blue or bluish-green.
Colourless to bluish white, quickly changing to dark blue or brown
Hardness (Mohs):
1½ - 2
Hardness Data:
Perfect on {010}, in traces on {106} and {100}.
Translation gliding:
T(010) t[001]
Fibrous nearly perpendicular to [001]; also flexible in thin {010} laminae.
2.67 - 2.69 g/cm3 (Measured)    2.696 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of Vivianite

Biaxial (+)
RI values:
nα = 1.579 - 1.616 nβ = 1.602 - 1.656 nγ = 1.629 - 1.675
Measured: 63° to 83.5°, Calculated: 78° to 88°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.050 - 0.059
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
r < v weak
Optical Extinction:
X=b, Z^c = 28.5°
X= blue, deep blue, indigo blue
Y= pale yellowish green, pale bluish green, green-yellow
Z= pale yellowish green, pale yellowish green, olive-yellow.
The refractive indices increase with increasing oxidation, the birefringence decreases, and the pleochroism on {010} becomes stronger.

Chemical Properties of Vivianite

Fe32+(PO4)2 · 8H2O
IMA Formula:
Fe32+(PO4)2 · 8H2O
Elements listed in formula:
Common Impurities:

Crystallography of Vivianite

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
2/m - Prismatic
Space Group:
Space Group Setting:
Cell Parameters:
a = 10.086 Å, b = 13.441 Å, c = 4.703 Å
β = 104.27°
a:b:c = 0.75 : 1 : 0.35
Unit Cell Volume:
V 617.89 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Crystals typically prismatic parallel to [001], also flattened {010}, more rarely {100} and equant; often rounded into blade-like or lanceolate shapes by vicinal development; found in stellate clusters, as reniform or globular aggregates, tabular masses or concretions, crusts with fibrous to bladed structure, and earthy to pulverulent.
Lamellar twinning on {010}, corresponding to approx. (304).

Crystallographic forms of Vivianite

Crystal Atlas:
Image Loading
Click on an icon to view
Vivianite no.22 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Vivianite no.27 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by

Edge Lines | Miller Indicies | Axes

Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
Image Loading

Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction Data:
Data given are for synthetic material.

Occurrences of Vivianite

Type Occurrence of Vivianite

Relationship of Vivianite to other Species

Member of:
Other Members of Group:
AnnabergiteNi3(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
ArupiteNi3(PO4)2 · 8H2O
BabánekiteCu3(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
Barićite(Mg,Fe)3(PO4)2 · 8H2O
ErythriteCo3(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
HörnesiteMg3(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
KöttigiteZn3(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
Manganohörnesite(Mn,Mg)3(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
PakhomovskyiteCo3(PO4)2 · 8H2O
ParasymplesiteFe32+(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
8.CE.XBabánekiteCu3(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
8.CE.05Chudobaite(Mg,Zn)5(AsO4)2(HAsO4)2 · 10H2O
8.CE.05GeigeriteMn52+(AsO4)2(HAsO4)2 · 10H2O
8.CE.10NewberyiteMg(HPO4) · 3H2O
8.CE.15BrassiteMg(HAsO4) · 4H2O
8.CE.20PhosphorrössleriteMg(HPO4) · 7H2O
8.CE.20RößleriteMg(HAsO4) · 7H2O
8.CE.25MetaswitzeriteMn3(PO4)2 · 4H2O
8.CE.25Switzerite(Mn,Fe)3(PO4)2 · 7H2O
8.CE.30LindackeriteCuCu4(AsO4)2(HAsO4)2 · 9H2O
8.CE.30OndrušiteCaCu4(AsO4)2(HAsO4)2 · 10H2O
8.CE.30VeselovskýiteZnCu4(AsO4)2(HAsO4)2 · 9H2O
8.CE.30PradetiteCoCu4(AsO4)2(HAsO4)2 · 9H2O
8.CE.30KlajiteMnCu4(AsO4)2(HAsO4)2 · 9-10H2O
8.CE.35BobierriteMg3(PO4)2 · 8H2O
8.CE.40AnnabergiteNi3(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
8.CE.40ArupiteNi3(PO4)2 · 8H2O
8.CE.40Barićite(Mg,Fe)3(PO4)2 · 8H2O
8.CE.40ErythriteCo3(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
8.CE.40FerrisymplesiteFe33+(AsO4)2(OH)3 · 5H2O
8.CE.40HörnesiteMg3(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
8.CE.40KöttigiteZn3(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
8.CE.40Manganohörnesite(Mn,Mg)3(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
8.CE.40ParasymplesiteFe32+(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
8.CE.40PakhomovskyiteCo3(PO4)2 · 8H2O
8.CE.45SymplesiteFe32+(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
8.CE.50CattiiteMg3(PO4)2 · 22H2O
8.CE.55KoninckiteFe3+PO4 · 3H2O
8.CE.60KaňkiteFeAsO4 · 3.5H2O
8.CE.65SteigeriteAl(VO4) · 3H2O
8.CE.70MetaschoderiteAl2(PO4)(VO4) · 6H2O
8.CE.70SchoderiteAl2(PO4)(VO4) · 8H2O
8.CE.75MalhmooditeFeZr(PO4)2 · 4H2O
8.CE.75ZigrasiteMgZr(PO4)2 · 4H2O
8.CE.75Unnamed (Ca-analogue of Zigrasite)CaZr[PO4]2 · 4H2O
8.CE.80SantabarbaraiteFe33+(PO4)2(OH)3 · 5H2O
8.CE.85Metaköttigite(Zn,Fe,Fe)3(AsO4)2 · 8(H2O,OH)
19.13.2StrengiteFePO4 · 2H2O
19.13.3PhosphosideriteFePO4 · 2H2O
19.13.4DufréniteCa0.5Fe2+Fe53+(PO4)4(OH)6 · 2H2O
19.13.5GiniiteFe2+Fe43+(PO4)3(OH)5 · 2H2O
19.13.6WhitmoreiteFe2+Fe23+(PO4)2(OH)2 · 4H2O
19.13.7TinticiteFe3+5.34(PO4)3.62(VO4)0.38(OH)4 · 6.7H2O
19.13.8FerristrunziteFe3+Fe23+(PO4)2(OH)3 · 5H2O
19.13.9FerrostrunziteFe2+Fe23+(PO4)2(OH)2 · 6H2O
19.13.10BerauniteFe2+Fe53+(PO4)4(OH)5 · 6H2O
19.13.12MetavivianiteFe2+Fe23+(PO4)2(OH)2 · 6H2O

Other Names for Vivianite

Other Information

Other Information:
Readily soluble in acids. Melting point = 1114°. Darkens in colour in H2O2.
Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

References for Vivianite

Reference List:
Springsfeld, G.C. (1751) De Terra quadam cærulea, in fodina, prope Eccardsbergam in Thuringia, reperta.- Acta Physico-Medica Academiæ Caesareæ Leopoldino-Carolinæ Naturæ Curiosorum exhibentia Ephemerides, sive, Observationes Historias et Experimenta a Celeberrimis Germaniæ et Exterarum Regionum Viris Habita et Communicata, Singulari Studio Collecta, Vol. X, p. 76-90 (from Eckartsberga near Naumburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, as Terra cærulea, with description and chemical investigation, identification as an iron mineral).

Cronstedt A. (1758) Mineralogie; eller Mineral-Rikets Upstallning. 12mo, Stockholm: 182 (as Bloa Järnjord, Naturligit Berlinerblätt, & Calx Martis phlogisto juncta).

Born, I. von (1772) Lythophylacium Bornianum; Index fossiliumquae colligit, etc., Prague. part 1: 136 (as Cæruleum Berolinense nativum).

de Lisle, R. (1783) Cristallographie, ou description des formes propres à tous les corps du regne minéral. 4 volumes, Paris: 3: 295 (as Ocre martiale bleue & Bleu de Prusse natif).

Klaproth M.H. (1784) Crell’s Chemical Journal, London: 1: 390 (as Natürliches Berlinblau & Phosphorsaurer Eisen).

Klaproth, M.H. (1807) Chemische Untersuchung der Blau-Eisenerde von Eckartsberg.- Beiträge zur Chemischen Kenntnis der Mineralkörper, 4. Band, p. 120-122 (first quantitative chemical analysis)

Werner, A.G. (1817) Letztes Mineral-System. Freiberg and Vienna. A catalogue with notes: 41 (as Vivianit).

Hoffmann, C.A. S. (1818) Handbuch der Mineralogie volume 4B: 146 (as Vivianit).

Breithaupt, August (1823) Vollständige Characteristik etc.. 1st. ed.: 26 (as Eisen-Phyllit).

Glocker, E.F. (1831) Handbuch der Mineralogie, Nürnberg: 857 (as Glaukosiderit).

Thomson, Thomas (1836) Outlines of Mineralogy, Geology, and Mineral Analysis. 2 volumes, London: 1: 452 (as Mullicite).

Berthier (1837) Annales des mines: 12: 303 (as Anglarite).

Fisher (1850) American Journal of Science: 9: 84.

vom Rath (1869) Annalen der Physik, Halle, Leipzig: 136: 405.

Mügge (1884) Jahrbuch für Mineralogie: I: 53.

Goldschmidt, V. (1891) Index der Krystallformen der Mineralien. 3 volumes: vol. 3: 273.

Dana, Edward S. (1892) System of Mineralogy, 6th. Edition, New York: 814.

Kovář (1898) Böhm. Ak., Abh., no. 9.

Mügge (1898) Jahrbuch für Mineralogie: I: 71.

Gaubert (1904) Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 27: 212.

Popoff (1906) Centralblatt für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie, Stuttgart: 112 (as Paravivianite).

Popoff (1907) Bull. Ac. Sc. St. Petersburg: 1: 127 (as Paravivianite).

Rosický (1908) Böhm. A.,Abhandlung, no. 28: 17.

Lacroix, Alfred (1910) Minéralogie de la France et des ses colonies, Paris. 5 volumes: vol. 4: 522.

Buttgenbach (1913) Société géologique de Belgique, Liége, Mémoires: 40: 3.

Lincio (1914) Heidelberg Ak. Wiss., Math.-Nat. Kl., Abteil A, Abhandlung: 15.

Petrow (1914) Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Beil.-Bd.: 37: 457.

Watson and Gooch (1918) Journal of the Washington Academy of Science: 8: 82 (Gooch analysis).

Kuhara (1918) Memoires of the College Eng. Kyoto: 2: 71.

Watson (1918) American Mineralogist: 3: 159.

Ulrich (1922) Rozpr. České Ak.: 31:, no. 10.

Goldschmidt, Victor (1923) Atlas der Krystallformen. 9 volumes, atlas, and text. Heidelberg, vol. 9: 57.

Gordon, Samuel (1924) Proceedings of the Academy of Sciences, Philadelphia: 76: 335.

Ulrich (1925) Rozpr. České Ak.: 33:, no. 33.

Ulrich (1926) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 64: 143.

Hintze, Carl (1933) Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1 [3B]: 1235.

Larsen, Esper S. and Berman, Harry (1934) The Microscopic Determination of the Nonopaque Minerals, Second edition, USGS Bulletin 848: 110.

Pelíšek (1935) Příroda: 28: 279.

Takané and Ômori (1936) Journal of the Japanese Association of Mineralogy, Petrology and Economic Geology: 16: 234.

Yamaguti (1936) Proceedings of the Physico-Math. Society Japan: 18[3]: 372.

Barth, Tomas (1937) American Mineralogist: 22: 325.

Wolfe, Caleb Wroe (1940) American Mineralogist: 25: 738.

Zieleniewski (1945) Arch. Min. Soc. Warsaw: 15: 51.

Palache, Charles, Berman, Harry, & Frondel, Clifford (1951) The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged, 1124 pp.: 742-746.

Acta Crystallographica 3: 1-6.

Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie et de Cristallographie (1980) 103: 135.

Piriou B, Poullen J F (1984) Raman-study of vivianite. Journal of Raman Spectroscopy 15, 343-346.

Bartl, H. (1989): Water of crystallization and its hydrogen-bonded crosslinking in vivianite Fe3(PO4)2·8H2O; a neutron diffraction investigation. Fresenius' Zeitschrift für Analytische Chemie 333, 401-403.

Gaines, Richard V., H. Catherine, W. Skinner, Eugene E. Foord, Brian Mason, Abraham Rosenzweig, and Vandall T. King (1997) Dana's New Mineralogy: The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana: 793.

Anthony, John W., Bideaux, Richard A., Bladh, Kenneth W., and Nichols, Monte C. (2000) Handbook of Mineralogy, Volume IV. Arsenates, Phosphates, Vanadates. Mineral Data Publishing, Tucson, AZ, 680pp.: 632.

Internet Links for Vivianite URL:
Please feel free to link to this page.
The following Vivianite specimens are currently listed for sale on

Localities for Vivianite

Mineral and/or Locality is an outreach project of the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
Copyright © and the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy 1993-2017, except where stated. relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters.
Privacy Policy - Terms & Conditions - Contact Us Current server date and time: June 29, 2017 11:53:25 Page generated: June 28, 2017 18:19:31
Go to top of page