Wardite - Encyclopedia

    Class : Phosphates, arsenates, vanadates
    Subclass : Hydrated phosphates
    Crystal system : Tetragonal
    Chemistry : NaAl3(PO4)2(OH)4 . 2H2O
    Rarity : Uncommon

Wardite is a hydrated phosphate present in phosphate nodules (variscite) of low temperature ; it is present, but not common in complex pegmatites. It owes its name to Henry Augustus Ward (1834-1906) collector and professor of Natural Sciences at the University of Rochester (New York, USA). Wardite forms bipyramidal pseudo-octahedral crystals, inlays and aggregates, or fibrous aggregates and fibro-radiated spherulites. It is a colorless mineral, white or pale green, sometimes light yellow or pale brown. Mixed with variscite, it is a mineral that can be used as an ornamental stone or for jewelery (cabochons). It is a mineral little known by collectors.

Wardite in the World

The largest known crystals come from Big Fish River in Canada, where they reach 4 cm. Wardite is also present in association with crandallite and millisite in Fairfield variscite nodules, and in the variscite deposits of Amatrice Hill and Lucin (Utah). Beautiful 1 cm crystals were also extracted from the pegmatite at Beryl Mountain and Palermo in New Hampshire. Wardite is also present in the pegmatites of Maine and Lavra da Ilha (Minas Gerais, Brazil).

Wardite in France

In France the wardite is known as a product of alteration of amblygonite at Montebras in the Creuse.


Wardite has no twinned crystals known.

Fakes and scams

No scam known for this mineral.

Hardness : 5
Density : 2.81 to 2.87
Fracture : Irregular
Trace : White

TP : Translucent to transparent
RI : 1.586 to 1.604
Birefringence : 0,009
Optical character : Uniaxial +
Pleochroism : Very weak
Fluorescence : None

Solubility : All acids

Magnetism : None
Radioactivity : None