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Spodumene Gemstone Information

Spodumene belongs to the pyroxine group of minerals and is found as yellow, green, pink to violet, and colourless material.

Green spodumene is coloured by iron and has a light to mid green colour. Green spodumene is not rare and is reasonably priced, whereas the hiddenite variety of spodumene is very rare and very highly priced.

Hiddenite: Is a highly saturated green variety of spodumene coloured by chromium. Prized stones are emerald green in colour.

Kunzite: Is the pink to violet variety of spodumene.

Source locations for spodumene include: Afghanistan, Brazil (main source), Madagascar, Myanmar, Pakistan and the USA (California and North Carolina).

Hiddenite is found in: Brazil, China, Madagascar and the USA (North Carolina).

Physical Properties

Stone type:
Varieties of spodumene.
Crystal System:
Monoclinic.
Chemical Composition:
Lithium aluminium silicate, LiAl(SiO3)2.
Colour:
As described above for each variety: Colourless spodumene is also found.
Lustre:
Bright vitreous.
Pleochroism:
Trichloic strong: Hiddenite shows blue-green yellow-green and emerald green. Kunzite shows violet, pink and colourless.
Dispersion:
Low.
Hardness:
6½ to 7 on the Mohs' scale.
Toughness:
Poor.
Cleavage:
Perfect in two directions (90 degrees apart).
Density in gm/cc:
3.17 to 3.19
Double refraction:
Yes.
Refractive index:
1.66 to 1.68

Common Treatments

Irradiation is used to improve the colour of light green stones, the resulting colour is not stable.

Irradiated kunzite is normally stable, but prolonged exposure to heat and strong light may fade the stone.


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