Trolleite in Quartz, Virginia

Reported Minerals & Deposits From:Virginia County List

Trolleite in Quartz,  Willis Mountain, Buckingham County, Virginia

Green trolleite, Al4(PO4)3(OH)3, is included in a 2 ½ inch by 2 inch by 1 ¾ inch milky quartz. Trolleite is in one major area that is photographed. There is a small amount of trolleite in other areas of the quartz, along with a small amount of lazulite. The first yellow lazulite ever documented. The Virginia mineral specimen is from Kyanite Mining Co. Willis Mountain, Buckingham County.
trolliet mineral specimen

variscite, Willis Mountain, Buckingham County


Subject: Re: Variscite
Just to inform you-all that variscite has been found in
simple and complex crystals and radiating spheres with
crystal points from Willis Mountain, Buckingham County,
Virginia. This mountain is being mined for kyanite from an
impure quartzite by Kyanite Mining Company owned by a Mr.
Gene Dixon. The variscite is found in a sometimes green
fluorescing quartz vein (SW) in association with green
apatite (orange SW), yellow lazurite (the first reported
occurrence of the previously theoretical iron-free end
member), trolleite, topaz (blue white SW), and gyozite
(variable cream SW & LW). Other minerals are found in
the quartz vein that have not yet been identified. Kyanite
near the vein will fluoresce blue (SW) or peach (LW) and
red (SW). Pyrite and rutile are common accessories in the
quartzite and fuschite (a chromian mica) is occasionally
found. Altogether, this quartz vein is a neat mineral
occurrence which I have traced along the ridge of Willis Mt.

Of interest to you may be the 12 ct. trolleite cab that I
had the late Bill Baltzly (owner of the Morefield Mine) cut.
I donated this gem to the Smithsonian Museum in DC. It is
not on display but you can ask to see it during week-day
hours. Trolleite was found first in Sweden as a blue, vein
filling mixture with clay [clay mixture- similar to
turquoise- note that crystalline turquoise was first found
in Lynch Station, Virginia], similarly in the Mono Mts. in
California, as yellow crystals from a pegmatite in Rawanda,
and most recently in Virginia found by Bill Giannini, a
geologist now retired from the Virginia Division of Mineral
Resources. Trolleite from the Virginia occurrence is a milky
light apple green with some indication that clear facetable
material may yet be found, [similar in appearance to a milky
beryl]. Trolleite has a hardness of 8 1/2 thus satisfying
the requirements of durability, pleasing appearance, and
rarity. A new gem material has been “born”.

Lance Kearns of James Madison University in Harisonburg, VA,
has my donated reference collection of this material if any
of you should be in his neighborhood. I am also donating to
the Smithsonian a similar reference collection. Fred Parker
of Columbia, MD may still have some of these materials for

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LapDigest News for Issue No. 192 – Tues 1/5/99