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Spodumene

This page kindly sponsored by Lithium Australia
Formula:
LiAlSi2O6
Colour:
Colourless, yellow, light green, emerald-green, pink to violet, purple, white, gray
Lustre:
Vitreous, Dull
Hardness:
6½ - 7
Specific Gravity:
3.1 - 3.2
Crystal System:
Monoclinic
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, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)
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

Physical Properties of Spodumene

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

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
Common Impurities:
Fe,Mn,Mg,Ca,Na,K,H2O

Crystallography of Spodumene

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

Crystallographic forms of Spodumene

Crystal Atlas:
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Click on an icon to view
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.

Type Occurrence of Spodumene

Synonyms of Spodumene

Other Language Names for Spodumene

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

Varieties of Spodumene

Hiddenite

Hiddenite was not originally defined by Kunz as has been sometimes claimed. Smith (1881) did state: "I have employed all the necessary care in examining for chromium, but have found no indication of its presence." Smith tried to verify the presence of van...

Kunzite

A pink gem variety of Spodumene.

Relationship of Spodumene to other Species

Other Members of this group:
AegirineNaFe3+Si2O6
Aegirine-augite(NaaCabFe2+cMgd)(Fe3+eAlfFe2+gMgh)Si2O6
Augite(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6
ClinoenstatiteMgSiO3
ClinoferrosiliteFe2+SiO3
DiopsideCaMgSi2O6
EsseneiteCaFe3+[AlSiO6]
HedenbergiteCaFe2+Si2O6
JadeiteNa(Al,Fe3+)Si2O6
JervisiteNaSc3+Si2O6
JohannseniteCaMn2+Si2O6
KanoiteMn2+(Mg,Mn2+)Si2O6
KosmochlorNaCrSi2O6
KushiroiteCaAl[AlSiO6]
NamansiliteNaMn3+Si2O6
NatalyiteNaV3+Si2O6
Omphacite(NaaCabFe2+cMgd)(AleFe3+fFe2+gMgh)Si2O6
PetedunniteCa(Zn,Mn2+,Mg,Fe2+)Si2O6
Pigeonite(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6

Common Associates

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Quartz45 photos of Spodumene associated with Quartz on mindat.org.
Muscovite31 photos of Spodumene associated with Muscovite on mindat.org.
Elbaite29 photos of Spodumene associated with Elbaite on mindat.org.
Albite28 photos of Spodumene associated with Albite on mindat.org.
Lepidolite22 photos of Spodumene associated with Lepidolite on mindat.org.
Cleavelandite15 photos of Spodumene associated with Cleavelandite on mindat.org.
Kunzite14 photos of Spodumene associated with Kunzite on mindat.org.
Spessartine12 photos of Spodumene associated with Spessartine on mindat.org.
Aquamarine11 photos of Spodumene associated with Aquamarine on mindat.org.
Eucryptite10 photos of Spodumene associated with Eucryptite on mindat.org.

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping

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(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6
9.DA.15Augite(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6
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(NaaCabFe2+cMgd)(Fe3+eAlfFe2+gMgh)Si2O6
9.DA.20Omphacite(NaaCabFe2+cMgd)(AleFe3+fFe2+gMgh)Si2O6
9.DA.25AegirineNaFe3+Si2O6
9.DA.25JadeiteNa(Al,Fe3+)Si2O6
9.DA.25JervisiteNaSc3+Si2O6
9.DA.25KosmochlorNaCrSi2O6
9.DA.25NamansiliteNaMn3+Si2O6
9.DA.25NatalyiteNaV3+Si2O6

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals Grouping

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}{Z2+3Z3+2}(Si8O22)(OH,F,Cl)2
16.1.14Magnesioholmquistite☐{Li2}{Mg3Al2}(Si8O22)(OH)2
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 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.

Spodumene in petrology

Common component of (items highlighted in red)

References for Spodumene

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Dana, E.S. (1892) Dana's system of mineralogy, 6th edition. New York: 366-369.
Gabriel A., Slavin, M., Carl, H.F. (1942) Minor constituents in spodumene. Economic Geology: 37: 116-125.
Clark, J.R., Appleman, D.E., Papike, J.J. (1969) Crystal-chemical characterization of clinopyroxenes based on eight new structure refinements. MSA Special Paper: 2: 31-50.
Cameron, M., Shigeho, S., Prewitt, C.T., Papike, J.J. (1973) High temperature crystal chemistry of acmite, diopside, hedenbergite, jadeite, spodumene and ureyite. American Mineralogist: 58: 594-618.
Deer, W.A., Howie, R.A, Zussman, J. (1978) Rock-forming minerals, 2nd edition, vol. 2A, single-chain silicates: 527-544.
Kuntzinger, S., Ghermani, N.E. (1999) Electron density distribution and Madelung potential in α-spodumene, LiAl(SiO3)2, from two-wavelength high-resolution X-ray diffraction data. Acta Crystallographica: B55: 273-284.
Arlt, T., 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

mindat.org URL:
https://www.mindat.org/min-3733.html
Please feel free to link to this page.
Specimens:
The following Spodumene specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

Localities for Spodumene

Mineral and/or Locality  
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