Cochise College          Photos of Minerals

                          Geology Home Page                

                          Roger Weller, geology instructor

                          wellerr@cochise.edu
                                  copyright 2006-R.Weller
 

 

Mineral Information on:
spodumene


Chemical Group: silicate

Chemical Formula: 
LiAl(SiO3)2

Color: greenish white, grayish white,  yellowish green, emerald green, yellow, purple

Streak: white          Luster:  vitreous to pearly
 

Hardness:   6.5 to 7      Specific Gravity:   3.13 to 3.20         

Cleavage:  2 directions, perfect     

Optical Properties:  dichroic (different colors when viewed in different directions)

 

Crystal Forms:  Monoclinic system
       commonly occurs as prismatic crystals and also cleavable masses

Mineral Associations: found in lithium rich pegmatites, often as very large crystals
     (up to 90 tons for a single crystal)
     microcline, albite, muscovite, quartz cassiterite

Identifying Characteristics:

Uses:  used as a gemstone when lilac colored (kunzite) or green (hiddenite)
     also, a lithium ore

USA occurrences:
South Dakota
     Etta Mine, Pennington County, Black Hills
California
     Hiriart Hill, Pala, San Diego County
     Beebe Hole Mine, Jacumba district
Maine
     Newry
Massachusetts
Connecticut
     Branchville Quarry, Fairfield County
North Carolina
     Foote Mineral Co. Spodumene Mine, Kings Mountain, Cleveland County
     Lincoln County
     Stoney Point
South  Dakota
     Black Hills
 

WORLD-WIDE occurrences
Brazil
     Fazends da Agua Dorada Urucupa, Itambarcuri region, Minas Gerais
     Neves Mine, Aracuai, Minas Gerais
Afghanistan
     Kabul
     Mawi and Laghman areas
Malagasy Republic (Madagascar)
     Tlapa, Maharita, and Anjanaboana


Toxicity:      when-swallowed-                            when inhaled-

Additional Information:
     The word spodumene is derived from the Greek word, spodumenos, which means
burned to ashes.

     Another older name for spodumene was triphane.
     Kunzite was named after a noted gemologist, Dr. George F. Kunz.
     Manganese is the source of pink color in kunzite.