Mineral description : Spodumene

Spodumene from Varuträsk, Västerbotten.
Spodumene from Haapaluoma, Finland.
Second view of crystal at the right in middle picture.
Spodumene from Haapaluoma, Finland.
Spodumen from Järkvissle, Sweden.

Mineral class Silicates : inosilicates : spodumene group (Klinopyroxene).
Chemical formula LiAl(Si2O6)
Crystal system Monoclinic
Habitus Prismatic crystals, flattened and vertically striated. Also as compact masses.
Cleavage Perfect along the crystal {110}, partition parallell to {100} and {010}. Fracture uneven ???.
Hardness 6.5-7
Density 3.11-3.2
Color Opaque white, gray or yellow. Clear green ( hiddenite ), pink ( kunzite ) or purple.
Streak White.
Luster Vitreous, pearly on cleavages.
Description Sometimes as an ore of lithium. Kunzite and hiddenite is highly prized as gem stones.
Occurance Spodumene is often found in lithium rich pegmatites.
Associates Lepidolite, petalite, tourmaline, amblygonite, kassiterite, fergusonite, beryll and topas.
Notes Easily melted along the edges, colours the flame intensively red.
Easily separated from feldspar as the third side of the crystal is a clear fracture.
Locations There is only a few locations in Sweden for spodumene
  • Varuträsk as whitegrey masses and long thin crystals. Frequently alterated to cookite and kaolinite.
  • Utö iron mine. As weak yellow green crystals together with petalite.
  • Järkvissle, Medelpad. Without lepidolite.
  • Kluntarna in the Piteå arkipelag.
  • Haapaluoma, Finland. As yellow to pink crystals in a lithium pegmatite.
  • Toro, Finland.
  • Helgeland and Bamble in Norway.
  • Guskak mine, Pedch, Kunar, Afghanistan. As Purple spodumene.
  • Mawi, near Nuristan, Logham province, Afghanistan. Kunzite
  • Itambacuri, Brazil. As kunzite.
  • Jaguaracu Pegmatite, Jaguaracu, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
  • Seskinnamadra, Co. Carlow, Ireland. Up to 25 cm crystals of kunzite in pegmatite boulders .
  • East Sayan, East Siberia, Russia.
  • Pala Chief mine, California, USA. As kunzite and hiddenite.
  • Stewart mine, San Diego Co., California, USA. As hiddenite.
  • Martin Prospect, Newry, Maine, USA. As hiddenite.
  • near Stony Point, Alexander Co., North Carolina, USA. As hiddenite.
  • Foote Spodumene mine, near Kings Mt., Cleveland Co., North Carolina, USA.

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Last changed : 2000-12-27