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Spodumene

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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.


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Classification of SpodumeneHide

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

Pronounciation of SpodumeneHide

Pronounciation:
PlayRecorded byCountry
Jolyon & Katya RalphUnited Kingdom

Physical Properties of SpodumeneHide

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 SpodumeneHide

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 SpodumeneHide

Formula:
LiAlSi2O6
Common Impurities:
Fe,Mn,Mg,Ca,Na,K,H2O

Crystallography of SpodumeneHide

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 SpodumeneHide

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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X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

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

Type Occurrence of SpodumeneHide

Synonyms of SpodumeneHide

Other Language Names for SpodumeneHide

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 SpodumeneHide

HiddeniteHiddenite 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...
KunziteA pink gem variety of Spodumene.

Relationship of Spodumene to other SpeciesHide

Other Members of this group:
AegirineNaFe3+Si2O6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
Aegirine-augite(NaaCabFe2+cMgd)(Fe3+eAlfFe2+gMgh)Si2O6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
Augite(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
ClinoenstatiteMgSiO3Mon.
ClinoferrosiliteFe2+SiO3Mon.
DiopsideCaMgSi2O6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
EsseneiteCaFe3+[AlSiO6]Mon. 2/m : B2/b
HedenbergiteCaFe2+Si2O6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
JadeiteNa(Al,Fe3+)Si2O6Mon.
JervisiteNaSc3+Si2O6Mon.
JohannseniteCaMn2+Si2O6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
KanoiteMn2+(Mg,Mn2+)Si2O6Mon. 2/m : P21/b
KosmochlorNaCrSi2O6Mon.
KushiroiteCaAl[AlSiO6]Mon. 2/m : B2/b
NamansiliteNaMn3+Si2O6Mon.
NatalyiteNaV3+Si2O6Mon.
Omphacite(NaaCabFe2+cMgd)(AleFe3+fFe2+gMgh)Si2O6Mon. 2/m
PetedunniteCa(Zn,Mn2+,Mg,Fe2+)Si2O6Mon.
Pigeonite(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6Mon. 2/m : P21/b

Common AssociatesHide

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 GroupingHide

9.DA.05Donpeacorite(Mn2+,Mg)Mg[SiO3]2Orth.
9.DA.05EnstatiteMgSiO3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pbca
9.DA.05FerrosiliteFeSiO3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pbca
9.DA.10ClinoenstatiteMgSiO3Mon.
9.DA.10ClinoferrosiliteFe2+SiO3Mon.
9.DA.10KanoiteMn2+(Mg,Mn2+)Si2O6Mon. 2/m : P21/b
9.DA.10Pigeonite(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6Mon. 2/m : P21/b
9.DA.15Augite(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
9.DA.15DiopsideCaMgSi2O6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
9.DA.15EsseneiteCaFe3+[AlSiO6]Mon. 2/m : B2/b
9.DA.15HedenbergiteCaFe2+Si2O6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
9.DA.15JohannseniteCaMn2+Si2O6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
9.DA.15PetedunniteCa(Zn,Mn2+,Mg,Fe2+)Si2O6Mon.
9.DA.15DavisiteCaScAlSiO6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
9.DA.15KushiroiteCaAl[AlSiO6]Mon. 2/m : B2/b
9.DA.15GrossmaniteCaTi3+ AlSiO6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
9.DA.20Aegirine-augite(NaaCabFe2+cMgd)(Fe3+eAlfFe2+gMgh)Si2O6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
9.DA.20Omphacite(NaaCabFe2+cMgd)(AleFe3+fFe2+gMgh)Si2O6Mon. 2/m
9.DA.25AegirineNaFe3+Si2O6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
9.DA.25JadeiteNa(Al,Fe3+)Si2O6Mon.
9.DA.25JervisiteNaSc3+Si2O6Mon.
9.DA.25KosmochlorNaCrSi2O6Mon.
9.DA.25NamansiliteNaMn3+Si2O6Mon.
9.DA.25NatalyiteNaV3+Si2O6Mon.

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

16.1.1PetaliteLiAl(Si4O10)Mon. 2/m : P2/b
16.1.3EucryptiteLiAlSiO4Trig. 3 : R3
16.1.4VirgiliteLiAlSi2O6Hex. 6 2 2 : P62 2 2
16.1.5Cookeite(Al2Li)Al2(AlSi3O10)(OH)8Mon. 2/m
16.1.6BikitaiteLiAlSi2O6 · H2OTric. 1 : P1
16.1.7LunijianlaiteLi0.7Al6.2(AlSi7O20)(OH,O)10Mon.
16.1.8SwineforditeLi(Al,Li,Mg)4((Si,Al)4O10)2(OH,F)4 · nH2OMon.
16.1.9Holmquistite☐{Li2}{Mg3Al2}(Si8O22)(OH)2Orth.
16.1.13Clino-holmquistite Root Name☐{Li2}{Z2+3Z3+2}(Si8O22)(OH,F,Cl)2Mon.
16.1.14Magnesioholmquistite☐{Li2}{Mg3Al2}(Si8O22)(OH)2
16.1.15BityiteLiCaAl2(AlBeSi2O10)(OH)2Mon. 2/m : B2/b
16.1.16SogdianiteK(□,Na)2Li3(Zr,Fe,Ti)2[Si12O30]Hex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P6/mcc
16.1.17SugiliteK(Na,□)2Li3(Fe,Mn,Al,Zr)2[Si12O30]Hex.

Other InformationHide

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 petrologyHide

Common component of (items highlighted in red)

References for SpodumeneHide

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 SpodumeneHide

Localities for SpodumeneHide

This 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.

Locality ListShow

Mineral and/or Locality  
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