Spodumene | Gemopedia

Spodumene is the name of a mineral species that includes two very special gems varieties: kunzite and hiddenite. Spodumene is named from the Greek spodoumenos, meaning "burnt to ash," which alludes to the ashy color of many specimens. A member of the pyroxene group, spodumene belongs to a class of minerals called silicates and it is one of a small number of minerals that contain lithium. Spodumene also occurs in many other shades of colors, all pale but very clear and brilliant. These varieties are given color descriptor names; for example, lemon spodumene.
Alternate
Names
Triphane, Kunzite, Hiddenite
Colors
Pink To Bluish Purple, Green, Yellow, Colorless, Gray, Blue (Very Rare)

Spodumene Classification

Common Name

Spodumene

Species

Spodumene

Variety

Colors

Pink To Bluish Purple, Green, Yellow, Colorless, Gray, Blue (Very Rare)

Alternate Names

Triphane, Kunzite, Hiddenite

Gemstone Groups

Key Separations

RI, birefringence, optic character and spectra. Biaxial common point is 0.006 from high RI.

Comments

Triphane: yellow. Kunzite: pink to bluish purple. Hiddenite: medium to emerald green. Misnomers: Lithia emerald, hiddenite if light green or irradiated

Spodumene Optical Properties

Transparency

Transparent

Refractive Index

1.66-1.676
Tolerance:(+0.005/-0.005)

Birefringence

0.014-0.016

Optic Character

Biaxial

Optic Sign

Positive

Polariscope Reaction

Doubly Refractive (DR)

Fluorescence

SWUV: Inert to moderate orange-red
LWUV: inert to strong orange-red

CCF Reaction

Pleochroism

Trichroic, strong, varying shades of body color

Dispersion

Strength: moderate fire Value: 0.017

Comments

Spodumene Chemistry & Crystallography

Chemical Name

lithium aluminum silicate

Chemical Formula

LiAlSi2O6

Synthesis

Crystal System

Monoclinic

Classification

Silicate

Nature

Natural

Crystallinity

Crystalline

Comments

Spodumene Characteristic Physical Properties

Hardness

6.5-7

Streak

White

Specific Gravity

3.15-3.21 Typical:3.18

Toughness

Poor

Inclusions

Spodumene is a type I clarity stone. Stones might contain growth and etch tubes, healing cracks, liquid and multi-phase inclusions.

Luster

Vitreous

Stability

Fracture

Uneven, Splintery

Cleavage

Perfect, in two directions

Comments

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