- Fashion and Beauty
Sphene: The Green Gold Gem
Sphene or Titanite
The use of sphene as this mineral's name has been discredited by the International Mineralogical Association Commission on New Minerals and Mineral Names (CNMMN); Titanite is the "approved" name. However, Sphene persists as the informal name for titanite gemstones.
Tell me more about Sphene
Sphene is a brilliant transparent yellowish-green or green gemstone with a high luster and pronounced fire. Its name comes from the word sphen meaning wedge shaped, as it normally occurs in wedge shaped crystals. Although sphene is rather soft, it is always cut as a facetted stone, which suits its lively appearance, rather than a cabochon, which is more normal for stones softer than 7 on Moh's scale.
Sphene is named from the greek word for wedge, because of its typical wedge shaped crystal it forms.
Sphene is an unusual gemstone that until a very few years ago was virtually unknown to most jewelry consumers. However, recent finds in Brazil and the Far East have brought more and more of the material to the market which has resulted in an increased awareness of this gemstone.
So what color is it?
Well, that's kind of hard to say. But not as hard trying to photograph all of these colors. Sphene has a rather unusual ability to take a beam of light and break it into all of the spectral colors. So that it will change color depending which angle you are looking at it. Basically it is green or yellow with flashes of other colors like red or orange.
Where is Sphene found?
Sphene is found in Mexico, Brazil, Canada, United States, Switzerland, Italy and Russia. Recently found in Pakistan ( middle east) and Gilget,Kashmir ( far east )
Sphene is better suited to use in earrings or pendents where it is less likely to suffer abuse.
Hot water, chemicals and sharp blows should be avoided.
If used in rings, it should be worn with care because its softness means it will scratch or chip relatively easily.
Â·Color is green, yellow, white, brown or black.
Â·Luster is adamantine.
Â·Transparency: Crystals are transparent to translucent.
Â·Crystal System: Monoclinic; 2/m
Â·Crystal Habits include elongated wedges that form tabular or platy crystals. Some crystals are not so elongated and can have a trigonal appearance similar to a flattened rhombohedron. Twinning is common and produces a twin that is shaped like a deflatted, caved-in football, only with flatter surfaces.
Â·Cleavage is indistinct in two directions
Â·Fracture is conchoidal
Â·Hardness is 5 - 5.5
Â·Specific Gravity is 3.3 - 3.6
Â·Streak is white.
Â·Associated Minerals are chlorite, anatase, calcite, quartz, zircon and feldspars.
Â·Other Characteristics: Pleochroic if strongly colored.
Â·Notable Occurances include Gilget, Pakistan; Mt Vesuvius, Italy; Kola Penn., Russia; Ontario, Canada and New York and California, USA.
Â·Best Field Indicators are crystal habit, luster, hardness, twinning if present and color.
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