Spodumene - LiAlSi2O6

Spodumene was first described in 1800 for an occurrence in the type locality in Uto, Sodermanland, Sweden. It was discovered by Brazilian naturalist Jose Bonifacio de Andrada e Silva. The name is derived from the Greek spodumenos, meaning burnt to ashes, owing to the opaque, ash-grey appearance of material refined for use in industry. In the historical literature, the mineral is often referred to as "triphane".
Spodumene is a pyroxene mineral that is found, almost exclusively, in granite pegmatites. It has a chemical composition of LiAlSi2O6 but small amounts of sodium sometimes substitute for lithium and only one minor substitution of Al by Fe3+. It 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. Single crystals of 14.3 m (47 ft) in size are reported from Etta Mine in the Black Hills of South Dakota, United States. Spodumene is a characteristic mineral of the lithium-rich granitic pegmatites in which it is usually restricted to the more central parts of the pegmatite, and commonly associated with quartz, petalite, albite, lepidolite and beryl.

Optical properties:
Habit: Most often as long, flat, prismatic crystals. Also as rectangular crystals, tabular, bladed, as elongated crystals.
Color: Colorless.
Relief: High.
Birefringence: High, II-III order.

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Metric crystal of spodumene, Etta mine (USA).




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Metric crystals of spodumene, Etta mine (USA).




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Spodumene crystals in a pegmatitic dyke..




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Pink kunzite crystal.




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Green hiddenite crystal.







Bibliography



• Deer, W.A., Howie, R.A., Zussman, J. (1998) Rock-forming Minerals.
• Optical Mineralogy : The Nonopaque Minerals by Phillips / Griffen
• E. WM. Heinrich (1956): Microscopic Petrografy. Mcgraw-hill book company,inc
Stephen. A. Nelson


Photo
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 1x (Field of view = 9mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 1x (Field of view = 9mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 1x (Field of view = 9mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 1x (Field of view = 9mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 1x (Field of view = 9mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 1x (Field of view = 9mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 2x (Field of view = 7mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 2x (Field of view = 7mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 2x (Field of view = 7mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 2x (Field of view = 7mm)
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Spodumene (high relief and colorless) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. PPL image, 2x (Field of view = 7mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 2x (Field of view = 7mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 2x (Field of view = 7mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 2x (Field of view = 7mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 2x (Field of view = 7mm)
spodumene(21).jpg

Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 2x (Field of view = 7mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 2x (Field of view = 7mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 2x (Field of view = 7mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 2x (Field of view = 7mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 2x (Field of view = 7mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 2x (Field of view = 7mm)
spodumene(21).jpg

Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 2x (Field of view = 7mm)
spodumene(24).jpg

Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 2x (Field of view = 7mm)
spodumene(25).jpg

Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 2x (Field of view = 7mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 2x (Field of view = 7mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 2x (Field of view = 7mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 2x (Field of view = 7mm)
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Spodumene (high relief and colorless) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. PPL image, 2x (Field of view = 7mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 2x (Field of view = 7mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 2x (Field of view = 7mm)
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Spodumene (high relief and colorless) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. PPL image, 10x (Field of view = 2mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 10x (Field of view = 2mm)
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Spodumene (high relief and colorless) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. PPL image, 10x (Field of view = 2mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 10x (Field of view = 2mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 10x (Field of view = 2mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 10x (Field of view = 2mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 10x (Field of view = 2mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 10x (Field of view = 2mm)
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Spodumene (high interference colors) and plagioclase in a pegmatite from Bikita, Zimbawe, Africa. XPL image, 10x (Field of view = 2mm)