Geology Home Page
Roger Weller, geology instructor
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)
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
Uses: used as a gemstone when lilac colored (kunzite) or green (hiddenite)
also, a lithium ore
Etta Mine, Pennington County, Black Hills
Hiriart Hill, Pala, San Diego County
Beebe Hole Mine, Jacumba district
Branchville Quarry, Fairfield County
Foote Mineral Co. Spodumene Mine, Kings Mountain, Cleveland County
Fazends da Agua Dorada Urucupa, Itambarcuri region, Minas Gerais
Neves Mine, Aracuai, Minas Gerais
Mawi and Laghman areas
Malagasy Republic (Madagascar)
Tlapa, Maharita, and Anjanaboana
Toxicity: when-swallowed- when inhaled-
The word spodumene is derived from the Greek word, spodumenos, which means
burned to ashes.
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.