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John Henry Vivian
Fe2+3(PO4)2 · 8H2O
Colourless and transparent when fresh, quickly turning pale to deep blue, greenish-blue or bluish-green.
Vitreous, Pearly, Dull
1½ - 2
Specific Gravity:
2.67 - 2.69
Crystal System:
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.

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Classification of VivianiteHide

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 VivianiteHide

Vitreous, Pearly, Dull
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
1½ - 2 on Mohs scale
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 VivianiteHide

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 VivianiteHide

Fe2+3(PO4)2 · 8H2O
IMA Formula:
Fe2+3(PO4)2 · 8H2O
Common Impurities:

Crystallography of VivianiteHide

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
2/m - Prismatic
Space Group:
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 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 VivianiteHide

Crystal Atlas:
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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 DiffractionHide

Image Loading

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

Type Occurrence of VivianiteHide

Synonyms of VivianiteHide

Other Language Names for VivianiteHide

Relationship of Vivianite to other SpeciesHide

Member of:
Other Members of this group:
AnnabergiteNi3(AsO4)2 · 8H2OMon. 2/m : B2/m
ArupiteNi3(PO4)2 · 8H2OMon. 2/m : B2/m
BabánekiteCu3(AsO4)2 · 8H2O Mon. 2/m : B2/m
Barićite(Mg,Fe)3(PO4)2 · 8H2OMon. 2/m : B2/m
ErythriteCo3(AsO4)2 · 8H2OMon. 2/m : B2/m
HörnesiteMg3(AsO4)2 · 8H2OMon. 2/m : B2/m
KöttigiteZn3(AsO4)2 · 8H2OMon. 2/m : B2/m
Manganohörnesite(Mn,Mg)3(AsO4)2 · 8H2OMon. 2/m : P2/m
PakhomovskyiteCo3(PO4)2 · 8H2OMon. 2/m : B2/m
ParasymplesiteFe2+3(AsO4)2 · 8H2OMon. 2/m : B2/m

Common AssociatesHide

Ludlamite(Fe,Mn,Mg)3(PO4)2 · 4H2O
MetavivianiteFe2+Fe3+2(PO4)2(OH)2 · 6H2O
SantaclaraiteCaMn4[Si5O14OH](OH) · H2O
Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Siderite76 photos of Vivianite associated with Siderite on
Pyrite74 photos of Vivianite associated with Pyrite on
Ludlamite56 photos of Vivianite associated with Ludlamite on
Quartz29 photos of Vivianite associated with Quartz on
Triphylite27 photos of Vivianite associated with Triphylite on
Hureaulite25 photos of Vivianite associated with Hureaulite on
Childrenite19 photos of Vivianite associated with Childrenite on
Paravauxite18 photos of Vivianite associated with Paravauxite on
Rockbridgeite16 photos of Vivianite associated with Rockbridgeite on
Lithiophilite12 photos of Vivianite associated with Lithiophilite on

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

8.CE.XBabánekiteCu3(AsO4)2 · 8H2O Mon. 2/m : B2/m
8.CE.05Chudobaite(Mg,Zn)5(AsO4)2(HAsO4)2 · 10H2OTric.
8.CE.05GeigeriteMn2+5(AsO4)2(HAsO4)2 · 10H2OTric.
8.CE.10NewberyiteMg(HPO4) · 3H2OOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pbca
8.CE.15BrassiteMg(HAsO4) · 4H2OOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pbca
8.CE.20PhosphorrössleriteMg(HPO4) · 7H2OMon. 2/m : P2/b
8.CE.20RößleriteMg(HAsO4) · 7H2OMon. 2/m : B2/b
8.CE.25MetaswitzeriteMn3(PO4)2 · 4H2OMon. 2/m : P2/b
8.CE.25Switzerite(Mn,Fe)3(PO4)2 · 7H2OMon.
8.CE.30LindackeriteCuCu4(AsO4)2(HAsO4)2 · 9H2OTric. 1 : P1
8.CE.30OndrušiteCaCu4(AsO4)2(HAsO4)2 · 10H2OTric. 1 : P1
8.CE.30VeselovskýiteZnCu4(AsO4)2(HAsO4)2 · 9H2OTric. 1 : P1
8.CE.30PradetiteCoCu4(AsO4)2(HAsO4)2 · 9H2OTric. 1 : P1
8.CE.30KlajiteMnCu4(AsO4)2(HAsO4)2 · 9-10H2OTric. 1 : P1
8.CE.35BobierriteMg3(PO4)2 · 8H2OMon. 2/m : B2/b
8.CE.40AnnabergiteNi3(AsO4)2 · 8H2OMon. 2/m : B2/m
8.CE.40ArupiteNi3(PO4)2 · 8H2OMon. 2/m : B2/m
8.CE.40Barićite(Mg,Fe)3(PO4)2 · 8H2OMon. 2/m : B2/m
8.CE.40ErythriteCo3(AsO4)2 · 8H2OMon. 2/m : B2/m
8.CE.40FerrisymplesiteFe3+3(AsO4)2(OH)3 · 5H2OMon.
8.CE.40HörnesiteMg3(AsO4)2 · 8H2OMon. 2/m : B2/m
8.CE.40KöttigiteZn3(AsO4)2 · 8H2OMon. 2/m : B2/m
8.CE.40Manganohörnesite(Mn,Mg)3(AsO4)2 · 8H2OMon. 2/m : P2/m
8.CE.40ParasymplesiteFe2+3(AsO4)2 · 8H2OMon. 2/m : B2/m
8.CE.40PakhomovskyiteCo3(PO4)2 · 8H2OMon. 2/m : B2/m
8.CE.45SymplesiteFe2+3(AsO4)2 · 8H2OTric. 1 : P1
8.CE.50CattiiteMg3(PO4)2 · 22H2OTric. 1 : P1
8.CE.55KoninckiteFe3+PO4 · 3H2OTet.
8.CE.60KaňkiteFeAsO4 · 3.5H2OMon.
8.CE.65SteigeriteAl(VO4) · 3H2OMon. 2/m : P21/m
8.CE.70MetaschoderiteAl2(PO4)(VO4) · 6H2OMon. 2/m : P2/m
8.CE.70SchoderiteAl2(PO4)(VO4) · 8H2OMon.
8.CE.75MalhmooditeFeZr(PO4)2 · 4H2OMon.
8.CE.75ZigrasiteMgZr(PO4)2 · 4H2OTric. 1 : P1
8.CE.75Unnamed (Ca-analogue of Zigrasite)CaZr[PO4]2 · 4H2OTric.
8.CE.80SantabarbaraiteFe3+3(PO4)2(OH)3 · 5H2OAmor.
8.CE.85Metaköttigite(Zn,Fe,Fe)3(AsO4)2 · 8(H2O,OH)Tric. 1 : P1

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)Hidećite(Mg,Fe)3(PO4)2 · 8H2OMon. 2/m : B2/m · 8H2OMon. 2/m : B2/m · 8H2OMon. 2/m : B2/möttigiteZn3(AsO4)2 · 8H2OMon. 2/m : B2/m · 8H2OMon. 2/m : B2/mörnesiteMg3(AsO4)2 · 8H2OMon. 2/m : B2/m · 8H2OMon. 2/m : B2/m

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

19.13.1BarbosaliteFe2+Fe3+2(PO4)2(OH)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
19.13.2StrengiteFePO4 · 2H2OOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pbca
19.13.3PhosphosideriteFePO4 · 2H2OMon. 2/m
19.13.4DufréniteCa0.5Fe2+Fe3+5(PO4)4(OH)6 · 2H2OMon. 2/m : B2/b
19.13.5GiniiteFe2+Fe3+4(PO4)3(OH)5 · 2H2OMon. 2/m : P2/b
19.13.6WhitmoreiteFe2+Fe3+2(PO4)2(OH)2 · 4H2OMon. 2/m : P21/b
19.13.7TinticiteFe3+5.34(PO4)3.62(VO4)0.38(OH)4 · 6.7H2OTric. 1 : P1
19.13.8FerristrunziteFe3+Fe3+2(PO4)2(OH)3 · 5H2OTric.
19.13.9FerrostrunziteFe2+Fe3+2(PO4)2(OH)2 · 6H2OTric.
19.13.10BerauniteFe2+Fe3+5(PO4)4(OH)5 · 6H2OMon. 2/m : B2/b
19.13.12MetavivianiteFe2+Fe3+2(PO4)2(OH)2 · 6H2OTric. 1 : P1

Fluorescence of VivianiteHide

Not Fluorescent.

Other InformationHide

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 VivianiteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
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 VivianiteHide

Localities for VivianiteHide

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