Spodumene Gemstone: Properties, Meanings, Value & Information

spodumene gemstoneSpodumene (spod-you-meen) is a mineral family and a specific gem within that family. This stone is a popular collector’s mineral. It has two popular gemstone varieties: hiddenite and kunzite. 

So, is spodumene the same as kunzite? All kunzite is spodumene, but not all spodumene is kunzite. That’s because spodumene stones come in numerous other colors!

In terms of rarity, spodumene minerals are widespread but gem-quality stones are somewhat rare. The gems have certainly made an impact, though — the town of hiddenite’s first discovery renamed their town Hiddenite after the stone!

There’s more to spodumene than kunzite and hiddenite, however. Today, we’ll fill you in on all the spodumene properties, gemstone varieties, prices, and more!

spodumene gemstone

About Spodumene Stone

Spodumene is a semi-precious gemstone known for its beautiful transparent varieties. Besides its use for gems, what is spodumene used for? It’s also an essential source of lithium — about half of all lithium currently comes from spodumene stones!

Some spodumene uses stretch across various industries, like ceramics, medicine, and batteries, to name a few. Almost every use ties to lithium, which is even becoming crucial for reducing greenhouse gasses!

Back to the gemstones, kunzite spodumene is an alternate February birthstone or September birthstone (particularly for Americans, according to Tiffany gemologist George Kunz). Kunzite is also a zodiac stone for Taurus, Leo, and Scorpio, while yellow spodumene (triphane) is a zodiac stone for Cancer.  

green spodumene gemstone rough crystal

Spodumene Specifications & Characteristics

Spodumene is a lithium aluminum silicate mineral (LiAlSi2O6) in the pyroxene group. It’s one of the few lithium-bearing minerals in the world.

While spodumene crystals can be impressively large, their perfect cleavage and parting qualities make them somewhat delicate. 

One very rare optical phenomenon seen in spodumene is tenebrescence: a slow, reversible color shift under different UV lighting (the sun in particular). Unlike color-changing gems, tenebrescent gems gradually shift colors when coming in and out of the different lights.

Check out spodumene’s crystal properties listed below:

  • Mohs hardness: 6.5-7

  • Color: Colorless, gray, white, pink, purple, yellow, green, orange, blue

  • Crystal structure: Monoclinic

  • Luster: Vitreous (glass-like); Often pearly on cleavages

  • Transparency: Transparent to translucent; Some mineral specimens (not used for gems) are opaque

  • Refractive index: 1.65-1.68

  • Density: 3.03-3.23

  • Cleavage: Perfect, 2 directions, prismatic

  • Fracture: Uneven to splintery

  • Streak: White

  • Luminescence: Fluorescence - Orange, yellow, pink, or orange-red in SW-UV & LW-UV (triphane & kunzite); X-ray - Orange-yellow (triphane), orange (kunzite & hiddenite); Orange phosphorescence (kunzite & hiddenite)

  • Pleochroism: Present; Strong; Kunzite - colorless to violet or pink; Green stones - Colorless, green, or teal to light green; Hiddenite - green to teal

  • Optical effects: Rarely chatoyancy; Tenebrescence

Types of Spodumene

You already know what stones are spodumene; now let’s go deeper into each variety, starting with the most widely known: kunzite!


kunzite spodumene gemstone faceted

Kunzite is a light-colored pink to purple variety colored by manganese impurities. It shows strong pleochroism, so you’ll see colorless and pink or violet hues from different viewing directions.

Because deeper hues are rarer, they carry greater value. The most valuable stones are deep magenta, followed by saturated violet stones. Among the varieties listed, kunzite has the largest crystals (up to 10 inches).


green hiddenite spodumene gemstone faceted

Hiddenite is a translucent, emerald-green variety nicknamed the “Carolina Emerald'' for its discovery in North Carolina, USA, in 1876. Plus, some emerald crystals in America are found inside hiddenite! 

The stone is colored by chromium impurities. Not all green spodumene is hiddenite, only those colored by chromium, even if both come from the same mine.

This stone is the rarest spodumene variety. Its green shades range but are generally darker than other spodumenes. Hiddenite gems are valuable but small, with most under 2 carats.


triphane spodumene gemstone faceted

Triphane is a modern name for transparent, colorless to yellow spodumene. The term is Ancient Greek for “appearing three-fold,” after the stone's strong trichroism. 

French mineralogist Rene Haüy coined the name in 1801, and it became a synonym for spodumene during the 1800s-1900s. In the late 1900s, Americans in particular started using “triphane” as a variety name, though some gemologists only use the term “yellow spodumene.” Triphane crystals are always small, between 1-2 inches.

Next, what is the meaning of spodumene?

clear spodumene gemstones faceted parcel

Spodumene Meaning & History

Spodumene stones represent confidence, love, and unity. They also symbolize restoration, new perspectives, and protection. 

The word “spodumene” comes from the Greek spodumenos, meaning “burnt to ash” after the original opaque, ashy gray specimens now exclusive to industrial use.

Brazilian naturalist José Bonifácio de Andrada first discovered spodumene in Stockholm County, Sweden, in 1800. Along with scapolite and cryolite, Andrada also discovered petalite, which led to lithium’s first discovery. 

Spodumene gems weren’t highly regarded until the American discoveries of hiddenite in 1879 and kunzite in 1902. It wasn’t until the 1970s when miners found more gem-quality spodumene that the stone gained wider recognition as a gem outside of its varieties. 

With gemological fame comes greater use in healing circles, so what is spodumene used for in crystal healing?

yellow triphane spodumene gemstone crystal pendant

Spodumene Healing Properties

While not all spodumenes have the quality to be gemstones, every spodumene crystal can be a healing stone! Their distinct colors offer different benefits, too. 

Colorless spodumene joins other white gemstones in providing spiritual wisdom and cleansing benefits. Kunzite is a pink gem, meaning its benefits include heart healing, self-love, and romance. If you’re after heart chakra healing, both kunzite and green gemstones like hiddenite are heart chakra stones!

Let’s look closer at the physical and emotional spodumene crystal benefits. 

Physical Healing

Most physical benefits tie to yellow spodumene (triphane) specifically. This stone is said to clear your space from radiation, shielding you from EMF emissions from tech like your computer. 

Other purported triphane benefits include:

  • Helping the body rebuild cells

  • Balancing magnesium and calcium in the body

  • Enhancing medical treatments for STDs

  • Boosting fertility

Emotional Healing

If you have a domineering force you feel helpless against, be it external or internal, spodumene can help. Crystal healers recommend the gem for protection against manipulative people and addictions that try to steal your personal power. 

Another possible benefit of spodumene is helping you accept and release painful past memories or worries. From there, the stone can renew your sense of optimism and purpose. 

green spodumene gemstone faceted

Spodumene Gemstone Properties

A gemstone’s objective value comes down to its particular gemstone properties. Like most gems, spodumene’s value factors come down to standard categories: color, cut, clarity, and treatments. Although, the significance of each category may differ between spodumene varieties. 


Most spodumene gems have pale coloring. Pale-colored spodumene can display the gem’s moderate level of dispersion (colorful sparkle) better than deeper shades. Many crystals have stronger and lighter hues on different sides.  

Green spodumene gems (like hiddenite) show the widest range of shades, from pale mint to deep emerald or hunter green. Blue-green or light blue gems, along with bi-colored or multicolored spodumene, are the rarest.

Besides kunzite and hiddenite, most spodumene gems get their color from iron impurities. 


Spodumene’s cleavage makes the stone one of the hardest gems to cut. However, in the hands of skilled lapidarists, spodumene gems can display extraordinary color, sparkle, and pleochroism. 

Almost all gem-quality spodumene rough is faceted. Step cuts like baguette or emerald are typical for kunzite, while brilliant cuts are typical for other faceted spodumenes — these include round, cushion, trillion, or oval shapes.

On rare occasions, you may see spodumene cabochons (more commonly with kunzite) or ornamental carvings. 


Transparent spodumene has a Type I (eye-clean) colored gemstone clarity grade, meaning it’s almost always found without eye-visible inclusions. Even huge crystals are usually inclusion-free!

Under 10x magnification, you may see tiny inclusions. Growth tubes are most common, along with cracks from healing or liquid inclusions. The rare chatoyant (cat’s eye) spodumene gems have thin, parallel inclusions of either crystals or growth tubes.


Spodumene, outside of its varieties, doesn’t usually undergo treatments, except for the occasional heating to enhance color. 

Kunzite, however, is regularly treated with undetectable irradiation, heat, or both. Jewelers use this treatment to intensify kunzite’s color or remove undesirable undertones. Often, irradiation turns colorless spodumene into pink kunzite or pink kunzite into green spodumene. 

spodumene gemstone crystal rough specimen

Spodumene Formation & Sources

You’ll mostly find spodumene minerals in lithium-rich pegmatites. These igneous pegmatite rocks started as hot magma rising toward Earth’s surface. The magma slowly cools, but the cooling process can create gas bubbles, cracks, and pockets.

Mineral-rich water seeps into those open spaces. The water evaporates over time and the minerals left behind crystallize. Spodumene forms when the water has silica, lithium, aluminum, and sodium. If manganese or chromium is present as well, it becomes kunzite or hiddenite, respectively. 

Next, where is spodumene found in the world?

Mining Locations

Spodumene deposits exist all around the world, and some locales produce specific spodumene gems:

  • Afghanistan (All spodumene colors; Gem-quality rough; Best kunzite, vibrant yellow spodumene)

  • Australia

  • Austria 

  • Brazil (Huge kunzite crystals; Hiddenite, non-hiddenite green spodumene, yellow spodumene) 

  • Canada

  • Democratic Republic of Congo

  • India 

  • Madagascar (Yellow spodumene, hiddenite, kunzite)

  • Mexico (Kunzite)

  • Myanmar (Hiddenite & gem-quality rough)

  • Pakistan (Kunzite)

  • Russia (Kunzite)

  • USA (California - Hiddenite, high-quality kunzite, yellow-green spodumene; North Carolina - Best hiddenite; South Dakota - huge grayish-white crystals; Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts)

Chances are, you’re curious about the cost. So, what is spodumene worth?

green hiddenite spodumene gemstone faceted

Spodumene Price & Value

Most spodumene gemstones are relatively affordable! The most valuable spodumene is hiddenite, which costs $100 per carat on average for faceted gems. Kunzite is next, though its prices have a broader range. 

Generally, pink kunzite gemstones are $5-$10 per carat for paler shades and $15-$30 for intense shades. Pricier options are lilac to deep lavender at $50-$70 per carat, though kunzites above 10 carats can be $150 per carat or higher.  

Below, we’ll break down each faceted spodumene gemstone price range (at wholesale) by color, excluding hiddenite and kunzite: 

  • Colorless: $5-$20 per carat

  • Yellow: $10-$50 per carat

  • Blue: $2-$10 per carat

  • Light Green: $3-$15 per carat

  • Deep Green: $6-$20 per carat

Lastly, the spodumene price per carat for rough specimens at wholesale is $0.01-$5 per carat. 

Spodumene Care and Maintenance

Spodumene is relatively hard, but its cleavage and parting planes mean it can break easily. Therefore, caring for the gem carefully is key. 

We recommend spodumene jewelry like pendants or earrings over rings and bracelets. Adding protective settings can keep the gem safer. Plus, earrings and pendants catch the light best — perfect for showing off that sparkle!

Unfortunately, most spodumene stones will fade in color from prolonged exposure to sunlight or heat. It’s best to keep them for evening wear only and store them in cool, dark places. 

You can clean spodumene by mixing warm water with mild soap, dipping a soft toothbrush in the mixture, and carefully scrubbing the stone. Rinse the stone after and dry it with a microfiber cloth or let it air-dry. 

pink kunzite spodumene gemstone pendant

Glisten and Gleam in Spodumene!

Scientists know spodumene for its abundance of lithium, but jewelry and crystal lovers love this gem for its abundance of beauty and spiritual benefits. Spodumene’s impressive colors and shimmering qualities earn it a place on display, be it in a gem and mineral collection or around your neck for an elegant evening!

Do you have a favorite spodumene color already? Want to explore the options? Check out our array of spodumene gemstones to find the perfect one for you!

Buy spodumene gemstones today!

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