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Gem Focus June 2020: Kunzite: a rosy spodumene with an American name

Spodumene is almost exclusively a pegmatitic mineral of the pyroxene group that forms in monoclinic system with a chemical formula of LiAlSi2O6. Its hardness is 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs’ scale and displays perfect prismatic cleavage. Transparent and colored varieties show strong pleochroism. Strangely, the name spodumene means “ash-colored” in Greek referring to the dull and colorless examples when it was first named in the second half of the 19th century.

Gem Focus April 2020: Sphene: A Mineral Emanates Fire with Two Names.

Titanite, as it is known to modern mineralogists for its significant titanium content, was first recognized as a new mineral by the great German chemist Martin Heinrich Klaproth in 1795. Soon after its discovery, in 1801, the wedge-shaped crystals inspired the mineralogist Rene Just Haüy, the name bearer of mineral hauyne, to introduce the name “Sphene” after “sphenos,” meaning wedge in Greek.