Kunzite and Hiddenite Mineral Information (spodumene mineral varieties)
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Spodumene: Mineral Information Page

Including the Spodumene varieties: Hiddenite and Kunzite

Kunzite Crystals and Kunzite Mineral Specimens

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spodumene Physical Properties
spodumene Background Info
spodumene Occurance and Diagnostic Features
spodumene History and Uses
spodumene Metaphysical Properties



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SPODUMENE PHYSICAL PROPERTIES

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SPODUMENE BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Spodumene is a lithium aluminum silicate. It is a relatively rare pyroxene found mainly in lithium rich pegmatites. Rough crystals of spodumene have been found in gigantic proportions, one of the largest was a single crystal measuring over 47 feet long and weighing 90 tons! Spodumene is the principle source of lithium, which is the lightest of all metals.

Gem spodumene occurs very rarely and in much smaller crystals. The color in gem spodumenes ranges from colorless to yellow, pink to violet (kunzite), yellowish-green to medium deep green (hiddenite) and an extremely rare light blue color. The perfect cleavage of spodumene makes it considerably more difficult to facet, and a little more care is necessary to prevent damage when wearing a spodumene gem set in a ring. Spodumene gems are perfectly suited for setting into pendants, brooches and earrings.

The color in the gem varieties of spodumene is due to impurities of iron (producing yellow to green colored spodumene), chromium (producing medium-deep green colored spodumene) or manganese (producing pink to lilac spodumene), all substituting for aluminum in the crystal structure.

Some of the gem spodumenes will change color upon heating or irradiating. The pink color of kunzite is stable up to about 500oC where it will fade to colorless. This color can be restored by irradiation. When pink spodumene is irradiated, an unstable brown or green color is produced which will show evidence of fading within a few hours in a well-lit location. Heating to about 200oC will restore the original pink color.

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SPODUMENE OCCURRENCE AND DIAGNOSTIC FEATURES

Spodumene (LiALSi2O6) occurs almost exclusively in lithium rich granite pegmatites. It is a relatively rare mineral, occuring in association with quartz, microcline, albite, muscovite, lepidolite, tourmaline and beryl, and more rarely with topaz, amblygonite, apatite and cassiterite.
Spodumene has also been reported in rare cases in aplites and in gneisses.

Spodumene is recognized by its prismatic cleavage on {110} and parting on {100}, and by its pegmatitic occurance. Gem varieties of spodumene can be distinguished by their strong pleochrism and by their higher refractive index from similar appearing pegmatite minerals such as quartz, topaz and beryl.


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SPODUMENE HISTORICAL INFORMATION AND USES

The name spodumene was derived from the Greek spodumenos which meant burnt to ashes in reference to spodumene's commonly occuring light gray color. Kunzite was named for the author and gemologist George F. Kunz, and hiddenite was named after A. E. Hidden who was one of the original mine owners of the type location for this spodumene variety in North Carolina, USA.

Spodumene is a major source of lithium, which has a great variety of uses including in the manufacture of lubricants, ceramics, batteries, welding supplies, experimental fuels and in anti-depressant drugs.

Transparent spodumenes of pink to violet color (kunzite) and yellowish-green to medium deep green (hiddenite) are used as gemstones.

The astrological signs of kunzite are Scorpio, Taurus and Leo, and the sign of hiddenite is Scorpio.
Kunzite is a birthstone for the month of september.

Traditionally, the wearing of kunzite gemstones is thought to bring good luck.


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SPODUMENE METAPHYSICAL PROPERTIES

Wearing Kunzite Jewelry is said to help one to understand and interact better with others, to help heal "broken hearts", to relieve stress and anger, and to bring love, peace and harmony.
Hiddenite is said to enhance one's creative and spiritual potentials, and to stimulate one's intellect.

Kunzite is said to help strengthen the circulatory system, and to be helpfull in the treatment of lung disorders.
Hiddenite is said to be usefull in diagnosing ailments.

For more in-depth spodumene metaphysical information, see our Metaphysical Books section.


This is the end of our Spodumene Factsheet and Information page.

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Last Updated: April 9, 2015
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