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Spodumene

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Formula:
LiAlSi2O6
System:
Monoclinic
Colour:
Colourless, yellow, ...
Lustre:
Vitreous, Dull
Hardness:
6½ - 7
Name:
From Greek "spodoumenos", reduced to ashes, alluding to the grayish white mass that is formed when the mineral is ignited.
Pyroxene Group - Clinopyroxene Subgroup.

Spodumene is worked as an ore of lithium, but it is most highly prized as a gem material - the varieties Kunzite (pink) and Hiddenite (green) are especially sought after. It is usually found as a constituent of lithium-rich pegmatites.

Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Spodumene.

Classification of Spodumene

Approved
8/F.01-120
9.DA.30

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
D : Inosilicates
A : Inosilicates with 2-periodic single chains, Si2O6; pyroxene family
65.1.4.1

65 : INOSILICATES Single-Width,Unbranched Chains,(W=1)
1 : Single-Width Unbranched Chains, W=1 with chains P=2
16.1.2

16 : Silicates Containing Aluminum and other Metals
1 : Aluminosilicates of Li
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Type Occurrence of Spodumene

Year of Discovery:
1800

Physical Properties of Spodumene

Vitreous, Dull
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent, Translucent
Colour:
Colourless, yellow, light green, emerald-green, pink to violet, purple, white, gray
Streak:
White
Hardness (Mohs):
6½ - 7
Cleavage:
Perfect
Density:
3.1 - 3.2 g/cm3 (Measured)    

Crystallography of Spodumene

Crystal System:
Monoclinic
Cell Parameters:
a = 9.46Å, b = 8.39Å, c = 5.22Å
β = 110.17°
Ratio:
a:b:c = 1.128 : 1 : 0.622
Unit Cell Volume:
V 388.90 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)

Crystallographic forms of Spodumene

Crystal Atlas:
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Spodumene no.6 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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Edge Lines | Miller Indicies | Axes

Transparency
Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

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Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
Image Loading

Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.

Optical Data of Spodumene

Type:
Biaxial (+)
RI values:
nα = 1.648 - 1.661 nβ = 1.655 - 1.670 nγ = 1.662 - 1.679
2V:
Measured: 54° to 69°, Calculated: 88°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.014 - 0.018
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Moderate
Dispersion:
weak

Chemical Properties of Spodumene

Formula:
LiAlSi2O6
Essential elements:
All elements listed in formula:
Common Impurities:
Fe,Mn,Mg,Ca,Na,K,H2O

Relationship of Spodumene to other Species

Other Members of Group:
AegirineNaFe3+Si2O6
Aegirine-augite(Na,Ca)(Fe3+,Fe2+,Mg,Al)Si2O6
Augite(Ca,Na)(Mg,Fe2+,Al,Fe3+,Ti)[(Si,Al)2O6]
ClinoenstatiteMgSiO3
ClinoferrosiliteFe2+SiO3
DiopsideCaMgSi2O6
EsseneiteCaFe3+[AlSiO6]
GrossmaniteCaTi3+ AlSiO6
HedenbergiteCaFe2+Si2O6
JadeiteNa(Al,Fe3+)Si2O6
Jervisite(Na,Ca,Fe2+)(Sc,Mg,Fe2+)Si2O6
JohannseniteCaMn2+Si2O6
KanoiteMn2+(Mg,Mn2+)Si2O6
KosmochlorNaCrSi2O6
KushiroiteCaAl[AlSiO6]
NamansiliteNaMn3+Si2O6
NatalyiteNa(V3+,Cr)Si2O6
Omphacite(Ca,Na)(Mg,Al)Si2O6
PetedunniteCa(Zn,Mn2+,Mg,Fe2+)Si2O6
Pigeonite(Mg,Fe2+,Ca)(Mg,Fe2+)Si2O6
9.DA.05Donpeacorite(Mn2+,Mg)Mg[SiO3]2
9.DA.05EnstatiteMgSiO3
9.DA.05FerrosiliteFeSiO3
9.DA.10ClinoenstatiteMgSiO3
9.DA.10ClinoferrosiliteFe2+SiO3
9.DA.10KanoiteMn2+(Mg,Mn2+)Si2O6
9.DA.10Pigeonite(Mg,Fe2+,Ca)(Mg,Fe2+)Si2O6
9.DA.15Augite(Ca,Na)(Mg,Fe2+,Al,Fe3+,Ti)[(Si,Al)2O6]
9.DA.15DiopsideCaMgSi2O6
9.DA.15EsseneiteCaFe3+[AlSiO6]
9.DA.15HedenbergiteCaFe2+Si2O6
9.DA.15JohannseniteCaMn2+Si2O6
9.DA.15PetedunniteCa(Zn,Mn2+,Mg,Fe2+)Si2O6
9.DA.15DavisiteCaScAlSiO6
9.DA.15KushiroiteCaAl[AlSiO6]
9.DA.15GrossmaniteCaTi3+ AlSiO6
9.DA.20Aegirine-augite(Na,Ca)(Fe3+,Fe2+,Mg,Al)Si2O6
9.DA.20Omphacite(Ca,Na)(Mg,Al)Si2O6
9.DA.25AegirineNaFe3+Si2O6
9.DA.25JadeiteNa(Al,Fe3+)Si2O6
9.DA.25Jervisite(Na,Ca,Fe2+)(Sc,Mg,Fe2+)Si2O6
9.DA.25KosmochlorNaCrSi2O6
9.DA.25NamansiliteNaMn3+Si2O6
9.DA.25NatalyiteNa(V3+,Cr)Si2O6
16.1.1PetaliteLiAl(Si4O10)
16.1.3EucryptiteLiAlSiO4
16.1.4VirgiliteLiAlSi2O6
16.1.5Cookeite(Al2Li)Al2(AlSi3O10)(OH)8
16.1.6BikitaiteLiAlSi2O6 · H2O
16.1.7LunijianlaiteLi0.7Al6.2(AlSi7O20)(OH,O)10
16.1.8SwineforditeLi(Al,Li,Mg)4((Si,Al)4O10)2(OH,F)4 · nH2O
16.1.9Holmquistite☐{Li2}{Mg3Al2}(Si8O22)(OH)2
16.1.13Clino-holmquistite Root Name☐{Li2}{Z32+Z23+}(Si8O22)(OH,F,Cl)2
16.1.14Magnesioholmquistite
16.1.15BityiteLiCaAl2(AlBeSi2O10)(OH)2
16.1.16SogdianiteK(□,Na)2Li3(Zr,Fe,Ti)2[Si12O30]
16.1.17SugiliteK(Na,□)2Li3(Fe,Mn,Al,Zr)2[Si12O30]

Other Names for Spodumene

Name in Other Languages:
Basque:Espodumeno
Croatian:Spodumen
Dutch:Spodumeen
Estonian:Spodumeen
Finnish:Spodumeeni
French:Spodumène
German:Spodumen
Hungarian:Spodumen
Italian:Spodumene
Lithuanian:Spodumenas
Norwegian (Bokmål):Spodumen
Polish:Spodumen
Portuguese:Espodúmena
Simplified Chinese:锂辉石
Swedish:Spodumen
Traditional Chinese:鋰輝石

Other Information

Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

References for Spodumene

Reference List:
Dana, E.S. (1892) Dana's system of mineralogy, 6th edition. New York: 366-369.

Gabriel A. et al. (1942), Economic Geology: 37: 116.

Clark, J.R., D.E. Appleman, and J.J. Papike (1969) Crystal-chemical characterization of clinopyroxenes based on eight new structure refinements. MSA Special Paper 2: 31-50.

Cameron, M., S. Shigeho, C.T. Prewitt & J.J. Papike (1973), High temperature crystal chemistry of acmite, diopside, hedenbergite, jadeite, spodumene and ureyite: American Mineralogist: 58: 594-618.

Deer, W.A., R.A. Howie, and J. Zussman (1978) Rock-forming minerals, 2nd edition, vol. 2A, single-chain silicates: 527-544.

Acta Crystallographica (1999): B: 273.

Arlt, T. and Angel, R. (2000) Displacive phase transitions in C-centered clinopyroxenes: spodumene, LiScSi2O6, and ZnSiO3. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals: 27: 719-731.

Filip, J.; Novak, M.; Beran, A.; Zboril, R. (2006): Crystal chemistry and OH defect concentrations in spodumenes from different granitic pegmatites. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals 32, 733-746.

Internet Links for Spodumene

Specimens:
The following Spodumene specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

Localities for Spodumene

map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.
Mineral and/or Locality  
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