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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.

Spodumene Polished
Spodumene Classification
Common Name Spodumene
Species Spodumene
Spodumene Optical Properties
Transparency Transparent
Dispersion Strength: Moderate Fire Value: 0.017
Refractive Index 1.660-1.681 Tolerance: (+0.005/-0.005)
Birefringence 0.014-0.016
Optic Character Biaxial
Optic Sign Positive
Polariscope Reaction Doubly Refractive (DR)
Fluorescence SWUV: inert yellow, orange, pink to strong orange-red
LWUV: inert yellow, orange, pink to strong orange-red
CCF Reaction might appear slightly pink in green stones
Pleochroism Trichroic, strong, varying shades of body color
Spodumene Characteristic Physical Properties
Hardness 6.5-7
Streak White
Specific Gravity 3.150-3.210 Typical:3.180
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
Fracture Uneven, Splintery
Cleavage Perfect, in two directions
Spodumene Chemistry & Crystallography
Chemical Name lithium aluminum silicate
Chemical Formula LiAlSi2O6
Crystal System Monoclinic
Chemistry Classification Silicate

Spodumene Colors

  • Orange Spodumene Orange
  • Purple Spodumene Purple
  • Pink Spodumene Pink
  • Colorless Spodumene Colorless
  • Yellow Spodumene Yellow
  • Green Spodumene Green

Spodumene Spectra

Spodumene Spectra

Color due to iron. Ferric iron produces two lines in the deep blue in almost identical positions. The dominant narrow line at 437nm.is often accompanied by a weaker one at 433nm. the strength of both dependent on the saturation of color. Very little variation in strength is detected with optical orientation

Jewelry Television acknowledges the significant scientific contributions of John S Harris, FGA to the study of gemstone spectra and with deep appreciation to him, acknowledges the use of his images and related notes about gemstones and their spectra in the educational materials on this website.

Alternate Names

Triphane, Kunzite, Hiddenite

Countries of Origin

Canada; Myanmar; Afghanistan; Austria; Pakistan; United States of America (the); Unknown; Russian Federation (the); Brazil; Madagascar; India


Gentle care. Avoid prolonged exposure to light and heat with kunzite, yellow spodumene and treated hiddenite to prevent color fading. Some stones cleave or fracture easily. Wear with care. Avoid ultrasonic cleaners.

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Tim Matthews


Tim Matthews

Tim Matthews is President and Chief Executive Officer of Jewelry Television® (JTV), as well as a member of the company's Board of Directors. He oversees and leads all aspects of the company's powerful omni-digital retail platform that uniquely specializes in fine jewelry and gemstones. His passion for business and gemstones has led him to become a recognized expert in the field of gemology. He is a life member of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) and has earned Gem-A's highest degrees, the Gemmology (FGA) and Diamond (DGA) diplomas. He is also a Graduate Gemologist (GG) of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and has also completed GIA's Graduate Diplomas in Diamonds, Colored Stones and Pearls. Under his leadership, JTV has become the leader in the sourcing and selling of color gemstones and jewelry.

This page was created on June 27, 2014.

This page was last edited on October 24, 2019.