Spodumene: properties, uses and types of stones

In Greek, the term "spodios" means "ashy", from which the name of the mineral spodumene comes, indicating its ash-gray color. In general, its color range also includes shades of pale yellowish-gray up to colorless specimens. Popular colored subspecies are also known for spodumene: light purple or pink kunzites and light green giddenites. All of them are transparent and translucent, have a glassy sheen and perfect cleavage. When heated they are destroyed.

History of spodumene

Spodumene belongs to the lithium-containing pyroxenes.
Its name is of Greek origin and goes back to the word “spodumenos”, which translates as “ashy”. When heated, the initially gray mineral transforms into a substance resembling ash. Spodumene and its subspecies began to be used as jewelry stones from the end of the 19th century, but they were not very popular, as they turned out to be difficult to process.
There are many known deposits for this mineral, where it occurs in the form of large blocks, but it is difficult to cut it, since it is quite fragile. Today, spodumene is used for carving, and kunzites and giddenites are used in jewelry.

Crystallographic characteristics

Syngony. Monoclinic.

Class. Monoclinic-prismatic C2h - 2/m(L2PC).

Crystal structure

The structure of spodumene has features that distinguish it from other monoclinic pyroxenes by the same space group. First of all, this is the coordination of cations for M(2), equal to six with an average distance M(2) - O = 2.211 A (in all other monoclinic pyroxenes of this space group there are 8 oxygens around M(2). Si - O chains have the largest angle O (3) - 0 (3) - O (3) = 170.5°, and in the artificial Fe 3+ analogue of spodumene, the silicon-oxygen chains are completely straightened (angle 180°).

Spodumene granular aggregates Eastern Sayan Mountains

Record spodumene

Natural spodumene often appears in huge lumps.
The largest crystal ever found in the United States weighed 90 tons, had a length of 12.5 meters and a width of 2 meters. The largest faceted yellowish-brown spodumene weighed 1,800 carats and is today kept in the Royal Ontario Museum (Canada), and the largest carved spodumene (height 137 mm, weight 6000 carats) belongs to a private collector from the USA. — Advertising —

The British Natural Science Museum owns a giant cut kunzite weighing 61.7 carats. The Smithsonian Institution (Washington) stores three Brazilian samples of this mineral, 880, 663 and 297 carats each, and triphan weighing 327 carats. Treated kunzites with a “cat’s eye” effect weighing 35 and 113 carats are also known.


The term "spodumene" comes from the Greek "spodumenos" - "turned into ashes." There are two reasons: the ash-gray color of the mineral or its transformation into an ashy-colored mass when heated.

The edges of natural crystals are cracked and streaked. Dimensions – from centimeters and grams to meters and tons.

The largest spodumene was excavated in the USA (South Dakota, 1914) - two meters, 90 tons.

Variations in composition have led to the classification of spodumene into varieties and colors.

Physicochemical characteristics of spodumene

Spodumene by its chemical nature is a complex lithium aluminosilicate.
The hardness of the mineral on the Mohs scale is 6.5-7, specific gravity 3.2 g/cm3, that is, it is brittle. Spodumenes form long-prismatic crystals or flattened, tapering crystals without end faces. The edges of the crystals are shaded and fissured.

The crystals have a monoclinic system, transparent or translucent, with perfect cleavage, uneven, conchoidal fracture, glassy or pearlescent luster. They are colorless or greenish-white, grayish-white, yellowish-green, emerald green, yellow, lilac, violet. There are also two-color specimens. They have pronounced pleochroism, yellow, orange or pink luminescence.

Spodumene is not soluble in acids.

Spodumenes are found together with quartz, albite, tourmaline, microcline, tantalite, pollucite, petalite, eucryptite, lepidolite, and beryl.

Physical properties


Color green, grey-green, light green, ultramarine blue, light grey, white, colorless, yellowish green, yellow, pinkish, pink (kunzite), violet blue (kunzite). The color partly depends on the ratio of Fe2+, Fe3+ and Mn2+. Yellow transparent spodumene from Nuristan (Afghanistan) has a subtle trichroism. Transparent zonal crystals are also known here, in which the green color at the base of the crystal changes to yellow at the head, and violet-blue to blue or green.

  • The streak is white, slightly greenish or slightly pinkish.
  • Glass shine.
  • The shimmer is pearlescent or matte.

Transparency. Usually opaque, but in thin chips and very fine grains it is translucent or transparent. The degree of transparency varies within the same crystal, which is due to the different content of gas-liquid and other microinclusions. Completely transparent kunzite crystals are extremely rare.


  • Hardness 6.5-7. Anisotropy of the microhardness of the faces has been established in various directions, especially on the (010) face (anisotropy of the first kind); a difference in the microhardness of the (100), (010), (001) and (110) faces was noted (second-order anisotropy).
  • Density 3.01-3.25.
  • Cleavage according to (110) is perfect. Separate by (010) and (100). In many large crystals, the separation by (100) is more perfect than the cleavage.
  • The fracture is uneven.

Chemical properties

Slowly decomposes in 0.1 N HCl at 40°.

Other properties

Paramagnetic Iron-rich green and light green varieties are weakly magnetized in an electric field. In cathode rays it luminesces brightly (luminescence color is reddish, red-orange, yellow-orange), and also fluoresces and phosphoresces. In ultraviolet rays (~ 3500-3700 A) it luminesces weaker; the glow is dark pink, pink, blue, dark blue, bluish-violet. Thermoluminescence at 220-240, 440-460 and 500° and radiophotoluminescence are noted. According to Samsonova and Feklichev, after 5 hours of exposure to X-rays, some areas of white spodumene turn pink, after another 7 hours a bluish-green color appears and a yellow glow is excited. Under the influence of x-rays and γ-rays, pink spodumenes acquire a green color, while colorless ones become pink. When exposed to ultraviolet irradiation or slow heating (up to 250°) in the light, they change color: green → pink → colorless. Heating to 500° transforms irradiated green spodumene immediately into colorless. There is an assumption that the green color of natural transparent spodumene, which does not contain Cr, is caused by exposure to radioactive radiation. The same assumption has been made about the pink color of kunzite. The thermoluminescence curves of spodumene are very different; all peaks observed on them are caused by Mn. The thermoluminescence intensity increases with increasing Mn and Fe content in spodumene. The IR spectrum of spodumene is characterized by a wide intense band in the region of 1200-850 cm-1 with maxima at 1135, 1095, 1035, 920, 870 cm-1, a strong doublet at 642-595 cm-1 and a band in the region of 550-400 cm-1 1 . In thick plates, a narrow band appears in the region of 1750–1670 cm-1, characteristic of the bending vibration of the H3O+ ion. Its intensity increases with increasing water content in spodumene.

Heating behavior. Brief heating makes spodumene cloudy and brittle. Green spodumene heated to 250° turns white, after cooling it turns pink; reheated to 500° after cooling remains white. Above the red heat temperature (800-900°), it cracks and acquires a stable cream color (the result of iron oxidation). Heating to 920° does not cause a change in the average refractive index and density. At a temperature of 900-1200° it transforms into a tetragonal β-modification; This corresponds to the endothermic bend in the heating curve. The onset temperature of the α-β transition and the temperature range of the transformation increase with increasing heating rate and decreasing Li content in spodumene. Grinding spodumene reduces the transformation temperature to 700°, the pressure of 0.7 kbar - to 500°. Additions of WO3 and LiVO3 (5-15%) lower the temperature of the α-β transition to 500-600°. Above 500° and at a pressure of about 3 kbar, spodumene in aqueous media of any composition transforms into eucryptite, petalite and β-spodumene. Thermal sonicograms have two maxima: at 430–490°, corresponding to the maximum rupture of inclusions, and at 850–950°, probably associated with cracking of α-spodumene during its transition to β-spodumene.

Types of spodumene

Several subspecies are known for spodumene:

  • kunzites - contain manganese, colored pink, purple, violet, were first found at the end of the 19th century. At first they were confused with tourmalines, but later scientists determined that kunzite is a type of spodumene.

  • Hiddenites - colored emerald green and bluish green, which is due to the fact that their crystals contain chromium or vanadium, which replace aluminum. The first examples of this bluish-green stone were found in the USA in the 19th century. They were discovered by geologist W.E. Gidden, after whom the mineral was later named.

  • Trifana is a subspecies of spodumene with transparent, colorless, yellow or yellow-green crystals.

Place of Birth

The mineral spodumene is formed in granitic pegmatites, where it is accompanied by quartz and tourmalines:

  • There are small deposits in the Central Asian region, Ukraine, and Armenia.
  • The stone is mined on an industrial scale in the USA, Norway, Sweden, Afghanistan, the Russian Federation, Austria, and Brazil.
  • Deposits in Myanmar, Russia (Republic of Tyva, Karelia), and Kazakhstan delight collectors with large textured needle crystals.

Sources of premium quality raw materials are Australia, Finland, Czech Republic, Madagascar.

Applications for spodumene

Most of the mined spodumene is used in the production of lithium metal.
It has also found application in the production of various types of glass. Spodumene crystals of unique shapes and shades are a valuable collection material; in addition, they are used in jewelry as faceted inserts.
Unfortunately, due to the difficulty of cutting and polishing the stone, its fragility and ability to lose its color when exposed to bright sun, jewelers rarely use it.

Jewelry with mineral

Spodumene can be found in any piece of jewelry. They can be worn as a set of stones of the same color, or individually.

most suitable for evening events , but you can wear one element, such as a ring, every day.

Yellowish trifan will harmoniously combine with brown eyes and dark hair, and delicate pink kunzites are more suitable for young girls with a spring color type.

Purple jewelry adds a little age, so women who are already established should choose them.

Artificial spodumene

Synthetic spodumene itself is not currently produced, but it is often refined. For example, colorless or lightly colored specimens are exposed to gamma radiation, after which they acquire a pink, yellowish or greenish color. With neutron irradiation, it is possible to obtain stones of brown-orange or greenish-yellow color. When heated to 500°C, spodumene of any color loses color.

How to identify a fake

Glass, quartz or synthetics are offered under the guise of spodumene.

The properties of the stone help to distinguish from a fake:

  • The color of natural stones, even thick, is never loud.
  • Most stones are endowed with the effect of pleochroism (color changes under different lighting).
  • The stone does not heat up in your hands immediately, unlike glass or synthetics.

It is 100% difficult to determine the origin, so it is better to buy jewelry in trusted stores.

How to care for spodumene

Spodumene, as well as its subspecies, must be protected from prolonged exposure to bright sun and heat, since in such conditions the gem loses its natural color.
In addition, the mineral is quite fragile, it is easy to scratch and damage, so you need to wear jewelry with spodumene carefully, and store it in separate boxes with soft walls or in soft bags. To clean products with this stone, cool water and a soft cloth are used, with which they are then wiped dry and polished.

Scope and scope

Spodumene is mainly used as a lithium ore. But the most beautiful transparent specimens of unique colors are used to create jewelry. Despite its significant hardness, this gem is quite fragile, so it can break when creating cabochons and cutting.

But this mineral is used not only in the jewelry industry. It is an integral component in the manufacture of batteries. It is known in the pyrotechnic industry, thermonuclear energy, and glass industry. It is used in medicine.

Zodiac sign

Spodumene is one of those stones that are suitable for absolutely all people to a greater or lesser extent. Therefore, it is difficult to say who it is not suitable for. But it influences different Zodiac Signs differently. This mineral is a symbol of Earth and Fire, so it favors fire and earth zodiac signs most of all. It is worthwhile to dwell on each of them in more detail.

  1. If Aries acquires such a talisman for themselves, then good luck will accompany them throughout life. Moreover, special attention should be paid to people whose professions are related to finance and trade. It is necessary to have it with you at meetings with investors, business people and partners. This will give you the strength to insist on your own, not to be influenced, to take firm positions and achieve your goal, no matter how difficult it may be. The result will not take long to arrive, and you will be rewarded financially.
  2. Taurus can rely on Spodumene if there is an opportunity to make a career in a certain type of activity. But you should not completely rely on his favor. To achieve your goal, you must make every effort. Without human participation it is impossible to achieve any heights.
  3. If Gemini lacks courage, fortitude, and perseverance, then they should look at jewelry made from this stone. If you wear it on your hand, no matter which finger, you will feel a surge of strength and energy, endurance and self-esteem will appear, which will lead you to victory over your opponents.
  4. When it becomes difficult for Cancers to find a common language with the people around them and with members of their household, try to buy jewelry with Spodumene and you will soon notice how your life has radically changed for the better. You will become more sociable, tolerant, accommodating, stop criticizing everyone for everything, and be restrained towards loved ones.
  5. Leos are recommended to wear such a talisman constantly. And it doesn’t matter what shape it’s cut into. His presence will make these people strong, purposeful, powerful, but not bordering on recklessness. If you need to have an important meeting or a serious conversation, then Spodumene will help achieve the desired result. You just need to listen to him and internally understand and accept his help. At the same time, relationships with people will not be damaged.
  6. Virgos can completely rely on this stone. He will help them collect their thoughts, calm down, analyze the current situation and draw the right conclusions. Moreover, yellowish or greenish specimens are best suited for these purposes.
  7. For Libra, this stone will not be a good helper. It will have no impact on the lives or work of these people. But wearing such a gem to match the color of your eyes or decorating holiday outfits with them will lift your spirits, make you irresistible, and attract the attention of members of the opposite sex, which can positively affect your future. Moreover, Spodumene is compatible with any stone.
  8. This mineral will not be of great importance for Scorpios either. He will not provide significant support or assistance. But this is not necessary. If you are a strong personality, then you will achieve everything through your own efforts, but if you have a weak character, you are apathetic, lazy, slow, then Spodumene does not help such people.
  9. If Sagittarius keeps a giddenite amulet at home, then peace and love, prosperity and mutual understanding, comfort and warmth of relationships will always reign there. But you shouldn’t expose it to strangers. Envious people and ill-wishers may appear who will make it a rule to ruin your life for no reason by doing minor dirty tricks.
  10. Capricorns should pay attention to this stone. Spodumene is able to multiply their positive qualities, such as patience, hard work, morality, responsibility, responsiveness, prudence, determination. The mineral will force the management team to pay attention to such people, highlight them from the crowd and give them the opportunity to realize themselves. But you shouldn’t get too carried away with such a talisman, otherwise you might become arrogant, which will negatively affect your relationships with people around you.
  11. The stone has a positive effect on Aquarius. It makes them kind, sympathetic, peaceful, friendly, cheerful, thrifty, attentive, reliable and caring. Thanks to the gem, you can not only make a dizzying career or achieve incredible results in business, but also surround yourself with worthy allies and advisors, as well as create a strong family in which devotion and love will prevail.
  12. If Pisces have such qualities as hypocrisy, intolerance, hot temper, rudeness, touchiness, indecisiveness, vindictiveness and envy, then you can forget about help from Spodumene. But if you still decide to change for the better, then try to contemplate this stone every day, and choose red or purple tones. If there are positive developments, make jewelry with Spodumene as your talisman.

Medicinal properties

According to lithotherapists, the aura of the stone is so strong that it can cope with any ailment. First of all, the mineral has a calming effect, which has a positive effect on the human nervous system. And it doesn’t matter how you wear Spodumene. In any case, its influence will not change. It is able to cope with problems of the cardiovascular system, establish normal blood circulation, cope with muscle tone, reduce headaches and joint pain. The gem has a positive effect on the human immune system, strengthening it in every possible way, normalizing the body's readings, eliminating depression and nervous disorders, protecting against stress and illnesses associated with mental problems, making sleep sound and waking up more pleasant.

Some doctors believe that if a woman fails to get pregnant, then she needs to buy a ring with Spodumene and everything will turn out just fine: a strong and healthy baby will be born. This stone is also indicated for the development of respiratory diseases to minimize their development, as well as in the postoperative period for the purpose of complete recovery.

Magical properties of the stone

Spodumene is endowed with significant magical properties, therefore it is able to protect its owner from the forces of evil, damage and the evil eye, and attract good luck and prosperity, joy and happiness. The mineral instills in its owner the attitude that everything in life is relative and any troubles must be endured steadfastly, without much emotion, and never losing heart. Because nervousness and hysteria are bad helpers in solving problems. The stone is able to develop a person’s intuition, improve his intellectual level, and elevate him spiritually.

The most important thing that a gem is capable of is to identify negativity in the form of meanness, anger, lies, deception, betrayal and warn its wearer about this. You just need to take a close look at it. If the unique shine of a stone has disappeared and it has become dull, you should think about and analyze the events taking place in order to prevent ill-wishers from having the opportunity to negatively influence you.

Magicians advise purchasing pendants with Spodumene for their children. Children are the most naive and malleable inhabitants of the planet and are most susceptible to negative energy. Therefore, they need such amulets as protection not only from evil forces, but also from injuries and bad mood.


Due to the fact that Spodumene is considered an affordable gemstone, and its appearance delights others, jewelers happily use it to create jewelry such as brooches, rings, earrings, pendants, necklaces and pendants. Moreover, a gold frame is considered the most beautiful and respectable. Jewelry using this gem is very popular due to its unique optical properties. The most common in use are pinkish and bluish specimens. Such products can often be found at fashion shows of famous brands. Moreover, they are compatible with other precious stones.

Natural stones are cut in various ways or processed into cabochons. In the latter case, a cat's eye effect may occur. If you look at products with Spodumene inserts under different light inclinations, they will have a variety of colors.

If you cut a gem incorrectly, it will become almost colorless. If cut correctly, it will look amazing. The deep blue tint of Spodumene is achieved by increasing the thickness of the insert. It is worth noting that cutting Spodumene is a whole science. But after such a procedure, the stone can easily be confused with beryl, amethyst, topaz, chrysoberyl, and sometimes with emerald.

Prices for spodumene products

The most commonly used varieties of spodumene in jewelry are kunzite and giddenite.
Kunzites have the same price as amethysts and are valued at $8 to $15 per carat. Increasing the size of a stone does not greatly affect its price, which is more determined by its clarity and color. For example, a pale-colored 10-carat kunzite specimen is valued at $150. The cost of kunzite beads ranges from $100 to $200, and solid threads are very rare due to the fragility and difficulty of processing the stone.

The price of kunzite becomes significantly higher if it has a rich color. The most expensive stones are those of violet and violet-red color, as thick as amethyst; samples of pink and lilac shades are valued less. Bright kunzites start at $500 per carat. Pink or lilac stone can be purchased from $80 per carat.

Giddenite weighing 1 carat is estimated at $1,000, since only one deposit is known for it, and processing the stone is difficult due to its fragility.

Giddenite for zodiac signs

The elements of spodumene are Earth and Fire . Therefore, it suits the same zodiac signs:

  1. Aries will strengthen their commercial spirit and will always be on the wave of luck.
  2. Leos will become more charismatic and resilient.
  3. Taurus will improve their career, especially if they themselves make an effort to do so.
  4. Giddenite will help Sagittarius in any area of ​​life, but it is better to wear it hidden from prying eyes.
  5. Virgos will become more balanced, calm, and will make the right decisions. Stones of a yellow or green hue will especially contribute to this.
  6. Capricorn will emphasize his prudence, responsibility and hard work. Such qualities will be difficult for management to ignore.

Other signs will also be able to feel the positive influence of the mineral. For example, Gemini will be more courageous in carrying out their plans, and Cancer will be able to improve relationships with loved ones.

Aquarius and Pisces will improve the main areas of life and reveal their positive traits.

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Publication from SESE PSYCHOLOGIST (@murashkina_elen) May 17, 2021 at 5:16 PDT

Neutral spodumene interacts with the energy of Libra and Scorpio : the stone can only serve them as a decorative element.

Interesting facts about spodumene

  • A unique piece of spodumene jewelry is a pearl necklace with cut spodumene weighing 396 carats, and a kunzite ring weighing 52 carats is also known, surrounded by 104 diamonds worth 2.63 carats. Both decorations are kept in the Smithsonian Institution (USA).
  • Using synthetic hydrothermal spodumene-hiddenite, imitations of emerald are made, but it is quite easy to distinguish it, since spodumene has a very different crystal structure, which can be seen under a microscope and even with a magnifying glass. In addition, spodumene reveals its obvious pleochroism.

Healing and magical properties of spodumene

Mint green 2ct spodumene hiddenite.
Photo: earthtreasury.com The magical and healing properties of spodumene overlap with each other. Lithotherapists claim that this is a stone of balance. Jewelry with this gem will help you calm down and gain self-confidence.

In addition, spodumene has a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular and nervous systems, and is indicated for vegetative-vascular dystonia. The stone is good for immersing a person in hypnosis. He inspires faith in the future.

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