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Spodumene

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Formula:
LiAlSi
 
2
O
 
6
System:MonoclinicColour:Colourless, yellow, ...
Lustre:Vitreous, DullHardness:6½ - 7
Member of:Clinopyroxene Subgroup > Pyroxene Group
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. Currently in public beta-test.

Classification of Spodumene

IMA status:Approved
Strunz 8th edition ID:8/F.01-120
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:9.DA.30

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
D : Inosilicates
A : Inosilicates with 2-periodic single chains, Si2O6; pyroxene family
Dana 8th edition ID:65.1.4.1

65 : INOSILICATES Single-Width,Unbranched Chains,(W=1)
1 : Single-Width Unbranched Chains, W=1 with chains P=2
Hey's CIM Ref.:16.1.2

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

Type Locality:Utö Mines, Utö, Södermanland, Sweden
Year of Discovery:1800

Physical Properties of Spodumene

Lustre: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 (measured):3.1 - 3.2 g/cm3

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)
Crystal Atlas:
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Spodumene no.6 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)

About Crystal Atlas

The mindat.org Crystal Atlas allows you to view a selection of crystal drawings of real and idealised crystal forms for this mineral and, in certain cases, 3d rotating crystal objects. The 3d models and HTML5 code are kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
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Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Horizontal Axis: ° to ° Vertical Axis: % Source Data: Filtered Data:
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°
Maximum Birefringence:δ = 0.014 - 0.018

Chart 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:
LiAlSi
 
2
O
 
6
Simplified for copy/paste:LiAlSi2O6
Essential elements:Al, Li, O, Si
All elements listed in formula:Al, Li, O, Si
Common Impurities:Fe,Mn,Mg,Ca,Na,K,H2O

Relationship of Spodumene to other Species

Member of:Clinopyroxene Subgroup > Pyroxene Group
Other Members of Group:

- +
Aegirine
NaFe
3+
 
Si
 
2
O
 
6
Aegirine-augite
(Na,Ca)(Fe
3+
 
,Fe
2+
 
,Mg,Al)Si
 
2
O
 
6
Augite
(Ca,Na)(Mg,Fe
2+
 
,Al,Fe
3+
 
,Ti)[(Si,Al)
 
2
O
 
6
]
Clinoenstatite
MgSiO
 
3
Clinoferrosilite
Fe
2+
 
SiO
 
3
Diopside
CaMgSi
 
2
O
 
6
Esseneite
CaFe
3+
 
[AlSiO
 
6
]
Grossmanite
CaTi
3+
 
AlSiO
 
6
Hedenbergite
CaFe
2+
 
Si
 
2
O
 
6
Jadeite
Na(Al,Fe
3+
 
)Si
 
2
O
 
6
Jervisite
(Na,Ca,Fe
2+
 
)(Sc,Mg,Fe
2+
 
)Si
 
2
O
 
6
Johannsenite
CaMn
2+
 
Si
 
2
O
 
6
Kanoite
Mn
2+
 
(Mg,Mn
2+
 
)Si
 
2
O
 
6
Kosmochlor
NaCrSi
 
2
O
 
6
Kushiroite
CaAl[AlSiO
 
6
]
Namansilite
NaMn
3+
 
Si
 
2
O
 
6
Natalyite
Na(V
3+
 
,Cr)Si
 
2
O
 
6
Omphacite
(Ca,Na)(Mg,Al)Si
 
2
O
 
6
Petedunnite
Ca(Zn,Mn
2+
 
,Mg,Fe
2+
 
)Si
 
2
O
 
6
Pigeonite
(Mg,Fe
2+
 
,Ca)(Mg,Fe
2+
 
)Si
 
2
O
 
6
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
9.DA.05Donpeacorite
(Mn
2+
 
,Mg)Mg[SiO
 
3
]
 
2
9.DA.05Enstatite
MgSiO
 
3
9.DA.05Ferrosilite
FeSiO
 
3
9.DA.10Clinoenstatite
MgSiO
 
3
9.DA.10Clinoferrosilite
Fe
2+
 
SiO
 
3
9.DA.10Kanoite
Mn
2+
 
(Mg,Mn
2+
 
)Si
 
2
O
 
6
9.DA.10Pigeonite
(Mg,Fe
2+
 
,Ca)(Mg,Fe
2+
 
)Si
 
2
O
 
6
9.DA.15Augite
(Ca,Na)(Mg,Fe
2+
 
,Al,Fe
3+
 
,Ti)[(Si,Al)
 
2
O
 
6
]
9.DA.15Diopside
CaMgSi
 
2
O
 
6
9.DA.15Esseneite
CaFe
3+
 
[AlSiO
 
6
]
9.DA.15Hedenbergite
CaFe
2+
 
Si
 
2
O
 
6
9.DA.15Johannsenite
CaMn
2+
 
Si
 
2
O
 
6
9.DA.15Petedunnite
Ca(Zn,Mn
2+
 
,Mg,Fe
2+
 
)Si
 
2
O
 
6
9.DA.15Davisite
CaScAlSiO
 
6
9.DA.15Kushiroite
CaAl[AlSiO
 
6
]
9.DA.15Grossmanite
CaTi
3+
 
AlSiO
 
6
9.DA.20Aegirine-augite
(Na,Ca)(Fe
3+
 
,Fe
2+
 
,Mg,Al)Si
 
2
O
 
6
9.DA.20Omphacite
(Ca,Na)(Mg,Al)Si
 
2
O
 
6
9.DA.25Aegirine
NaFe
3+
 
Si
 
2
O
 
6
9.DA.25Jadeite
Na(Al,Fe
3+
 
)Si
 
2
O
 
6
9.DA.25Jervisite
(Na,Ca,Fe
2+
 
)(Sc,Mg,Fe
2+
 
)Si
 
2
O
 
6
9.DA.25Kosmochlor
NaCrSi
 
2
O
 
6
9.DA.25Namansilite
NaMn
3+
 
Si
 
2
O
 
6
9.DA.25Natalyite
Na(V
3+
 
,Cr)Si
 
2
O
 
6
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
16.1.1Petalite
LiAl(Si
 
4
O
 
10
)
16.1.3Eucryptite
LiAlSiO
 
4
16.1.4Virgilite
LiAlSi
 
2
O
 
6
16.1.5Cookeite
(Al
 
2
Li)Al
 
2
(AlSi
 
3
O
 
10
)(OH)
 
8
16.1.6Bikitaite
LiAlSi
 
2
O
 
6
· H
 
2
O
16.1.7Lunijianlaite
Li
 
0.7
Al
 
6.2
(AlSi
 
7
O
 
20
)(OH,O)
 
10
16.1.8Swinefordite
Li(Al,Li,Mg)
 
4
((Si,Al)
 
4
O
 
10
)
 
2
(OH,F)
 
4
· nH
 
2
O
16.1.9Holmquistite
☐{Li
 
2
}{Mg
 
3
Al
 
2
}(Si
 
8
O
 
22
)(OH)
 
2
16.1.13Clino-holmquistite Root Name
☐{Li
 
2
}{Z
2+
3
Z
3+
2
}(Si
 
8
O
 
22
)(OH,F,Cl)
 
2
16.1.14Magnesioholmquistite
16.1.15Bityite
LiCaAl
 
2
(AlBeSi
 
2
O
 
10
)(OH)
 
2
16.1.16Sogdianite
K(□,Na)
 
2
Li
 
3
(Zr,Fe,Ti)
 
2
[Si
 
12
O
 
30
]
16.1.17Sugilite
K(Na,□)
 
2
Li
 
3
(Fe,Mn,Al,Zr)
 
2
[Si
 
12
O
 
30
]

Other Names for Spodumene

Synonyms:
Alpha-SpodumeneTriphane
Other Languages:
Basque:Espodumeno
Croatian:Spodumen
Dutch:Spodumeen
Estonian:Spodumeen
Finnish:Spodumeeni
French:Spodumène
German:Spodumen
Hungarian:Spodumen
Italian:Spodumene
Japanese:リシア輝石
リチア輝石
Lithuanian:Spodumenas
Norwegian (Bokmål):Spodumen
Polish:Spodumen
Portuguese:Espodúmena
Russian:Сподумен
Simplified Chinese:锂辉石
Swedish:Spodumen
Traditional Chinese:鋰輝石
Varieties:
HiddeniteKunzite

Other Information

Health Warning: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

Search Engines:
  • Look for Spodumene on Google
  • Look for Spodumene images on Google
  • External Links:
  • Look for Spodumene on Webmineral
  • Look for Spodumene on Athena Mineralogy
  • Look for Spodumene on Wikipedia
  • Look for Spodumene on Mineralien Atlas
  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project
  • American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
  • Spodumene details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
  • Mineral Dealers:
  • Search for Spodumene on Well-Arranged Molecules
  • SpiriferMinerals.com - high quality low prices
  • Fine minerals from bisbeeborn.com
  • Rare and Unusual minerals at Mineralogical Research Company
  • Spodumene specimens for sale - minfind.com
  • DAKOTA MATRIX offers Cabinet and Rare Species from Worldwide Localities.
  • The Arkenstone - Fine Minerals
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  • Specimens:The following Spodumene specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

    Localities for Spodumene

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