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- Walker balance a balance on the principle of the steel-yard used for determining the specific gravity of fairly large mineral specimens. The specimen is suspended and moved along the beam until it counter-balances the constant weight. The reading on the graduated beam, at the point the specimen is suspended is recorded (reading A). The specimen is immersed in water and again counterpoised and the second reading taken (reading B). Formula: B divided by B minus A, gives the specific gravity.
- Walrus ivory an ivory obtained from the canine teeth of the walrus (Odobaenus rosmarus).
- Wardite R.I. (mean) 1-59; S.G. 2-81; H. 5; Light green or bluish-green with vitreous lustre. Occurs in nodules of variscite at Utah, U.S.A. Sousmansite may be identical with wardite.
- Wart pearls another name for blister pearls, which see.
- "Water chrysolite" a MISNOMER ( COMMERCIAL LABEL ) for Moldavite.
- "Water sapphire" a MISNOMER ( COMMERCIAL LABEL ) for Iolite (Cordierite).
- Wave-length the distance between the crests, or troughs, of two successive waves. In the case of the longer waves of the electro-magnetic spectrum, the wireless waves, they are measured in metres; while in the shorter waves of light, ultra-violet rays, X-rays, etc., they are measured in Angstrom units, which see. See also Electro-magnetic spectrum.
- Westphal balance a type of steelyard balance fitted with a sinker at the end of the graduated arm. It is used for the determination of the relative density of heavy liquids. By the substitution of a suitable clip and pan in place of the sinker, the specific gravity of small gemstones may be determined. The clip is immersed in water and weights placed on the graduated arm until the beam is counterpoised (reading A), this is repeated with the stone in the pan (reading B), and then with the stone in the clip immersed in water (reading C). Formula B minus A divided by B minus C gives the specific gravity.
- West's solution a highly refractive liquid (R.I. 2-059; consists of white phosphorus + sulphur + methylene iodide; in the proportions 8 :1 :1.
- Whewellite R.I. 1-49 --- 1-65; S.G. 2-23; H. 2.5; Monoclinic; Colourless; Central Europe and France.
- White gold gold alloyed with silver, nickel, platinum or palladium will produce a white alloy. More than 50 % of the first two metals are required in order to produce the white colour, hence the alloy is limited to 9 carat quality. 30% of platinum or 25 % of palladium is required to produce white gold of 18 carat quality. White gold is used to simulate platinum as a setting for precious stones.
- White light light consisting of all colours (wave-lengths). Sometimes known as mixed light.
- White opal opal showing flashes of colour against a whitish background.
- Willemite R.I. 1 693-1 712; S.G. 3 89 to 4 18; H. 5 to 6; Trigonal; Colours, yellow, green, brown and reddish; Locality, U.S.A.
- Williamsite see Serpentine.
- Wiluite a name applied to the variety of idocrase found at the Wilui River, Siberia. See Idocrase.
- Witherite R.I. 1-532 --- 1-680; S.G. 4-27 to 4-35; H. 3.5; Orthorhombic; White; England, Japan, U.S.A. and Canada.
- Wollastonite R.I. 1 61-1 63; S.G. 2 8 to 2 9; H. 4 to 5; Monoclinic; White; Finland, Romania and Mexico.
- Wonderstone see Nevada wonderstone and pyrophyllite.
- Wood opal see Opal.
- Wulfenite R.I. 2-30 --- 2-403; S.G. 6-7 to 7; H. 3; tetragonal; Orange, yellow, green, grey and white; Australia, Congo, Central Europe, Mexico and U.S.A.
- Wyoming jade nephrite from Wyoming, U.S.A., but the name is sometimes used for jade matrix, which see.