Hiddenite is a kind of mineral called the gemstone of Spodumene. Generally, it contains chromium ions and has a color range from yellow-green to green, pleochroism, and it is popular as a beautiful and precious gemstone.
Some emerald spodumene has “Chatoyancy” showing a band of light that resembles a cat’s eye. The following will introduce the origin, value, characteristics of this gemstone, and its meaning as a power stone.
Properties of Gems
|Color||Yellowish green, green|
|Family (species, varieties)||Spodumene, Purple spodumene, Yellow spodumene|
|Polish Lustre||Glass lustre|
|Crystallography||Single crystal system|
Meaning of Gemstone
Knowledgeable, Inner peace
※ Birthstone for 16th ~ 29th April
Country & Place of Origin
• America：South Dakota, North Carolina, California
• Brazil：Whole territory
• Madagascar：Whole territory
• Afghanistan：Whole territory
• Mexico：Whole territory
• Russia：Whole territory
• Pakistan ：Whole territory
• Sweden：Whole territory
• Australia：Whole territory
• Nigeria：Whole territory
Features and characteristics
Emerald spodumene is a kind of “Spodumene” in the Pyroxene family that is produced from Pegmatite deposits belonging to igneous rocks (※1). It is a silicate mineral mainly composed of Lithium and Aluminium. A parallel stripe for the growth direction (※2) can be seen in the crystal. Besides, pleochroism (※3) is also a major feature. Since pleochroism is an important factor affecting the beauty of gems, when processing the gem’s grade (※4) ores and cutting, most people will think about how to make pleochroism more beautiful.
※1 “Igneous rock”: Refers to the rock formed after magma has cooled. Magma is divided into two types according to the cooling rate. “Igneous rock” is formed after rapid cooling, and “Plutonic rock” is formed after slow cooling.
※2 “Stripe”: It refers to the multiple parallel lines (line patterns) distributed on the mineral crystal surface. It can also refer to the linear scratches left on the surface of the rock or gravel above 2mm due to the crust movement of glacial movement.
※3 “Pleochroism”: It means that with the change of light angle, crystal axis direction, and observation angle, the gems can be seen showing different colors or shades of color. However, this feature is different from the famous “color-changing effect” of Alexandrite in which the color changes due to changes in the light source and should not be confused.
※4 “Gem grade”: It refers to the ore that is judged as “possible to become gem” when it is still in the rough stage. Sometimes merchants refer to the ore that is inferior in quality to gems as “gem grade”. But the “Gem grade” refers to the former, which is the ore is judged “possible to become a gem” at the rough stage.
Emerald spodumene and green spodumene
Aluminum is one of the main components of spodumene. If the aluminum is replaced with other atoms, different colors can be changed. Therefore, spodumene has three names named after a color.
Replaced with manganese ions, purple or pink is “Purple spodumene/Kunzite” yellow is “Yellow spodumene/Triphane” and replaced with chromium ion and green is the main topic of this article “Emerald spodumene”. The reason why it appears green is sometimes related to iron. However, there are still different opinions in the gemstone world on whether this green includes emerald spodumene.
Without emerald spodumene, this type of green gemstone is generally called “Green spodumene”. Besides, yellow spodumene is the only gemstone whose color factors have not been determined. There is a saying that the name yellow spodumene does not belong to purple spodumene and emerald spodumene. According to this statement, it is included in the spodumene which contains iron that appears green.
Origin of the name
Emerald spodumene was discovered in North Carolina, United States in 1879 by the mineralogist William Earl Hidden. The English name of emerald spodumene “Hiddenite” was derived from his surname.
Due to emerald spodumene is easily break, you must be especially careful when handling. It is usually recommended to gently wipe off the dirt and sebum with a soft cloth.
Even if it is very dirty, avoid washing it with running water or ultrasound machine. If you really must wash with water, it is recommended to gently scrub in basin and then immediately wipe off the water with dry cloth. Soaking is not recommended.
In addition, emerald spodumene is also a gemstone that changes color and fades when exposed to ultraviolet light or other light sources. Therefore, long term exposure to the light should be avoided. It is recommended to keep in a cool place without sunlight.
Emerald spodumene has high transparency, showing bright yellow-green or green color which is quite favored by collectors. Among the spodumene family, emerald spodumene is the rarest and expensive because of the rarity. The texture of this gemstone is very hard and easy to handle at first glance. However, because it has two items are cleavage (※5). It is not shock-resistant, so it is considered a nightmare for the craftsman.
Emerald spodumene and radiation
Purple spodumene is irradiated with strong radiation and turns into green and this transformed spodumene by radiation treatment is sometimes circulated in the market under the name of emerald spodumene.
Maybe it is because emerald spodumene is rare and more valuable than purple spodumene which makes people think of a way to change color and sell. However, it is generally believed that emerald spodumene refers to spodumene whose chromium ion is colored. Gemstones that have been changed by radiation are usually not treated as emerald spodumene.
If you are very particular about the value of the gemstone, it is recommended to confirm the root of its color is chromium ion before purchasing.
Example of color change by radiation
In 2001, after 7 days of the 9/11 terrorist attack occurred, some people actually sent packages containing anthrax bacillus to media and government officials. After learning that, the United States has since decided to irradiate all mail packages with high-energy radiation to eliminate bacteria.
GIA (※6), a gemstone research institute, considered that some gemstones will change color when exposed to radiation. They considered it to be a major issue and they conducted experiments to send gemstone such as purple spodumene in packages.
As expected, the pink-purple spodumene turned green. Less people know that if you want to send a package of gemstones to the United States, you should first confirm whether the gemstone might discolored due to radiation and be careful with it.
※5 “Cleavage”: Used to describe ore or crystal that are easy to break in a specific direction. “Completely cleavage” means that easy to break at that direction.
※6 “GIA”: Gemelogical Institute of America. It has gemology education institution, appraisal institutions and appraisal research lab which are internationally authorized institutions.
Emerald spodumene as a power stone
Peace, hope, growth, victory, insight, recovery of body and mind, relieve stress, improve relationship, calm disordered emotions, giving peace and soothing and the effect of restoring the body and mind.
In addition, it can make people think clearly, increase insight and understanding. Therefore, it is known as the energy stone that spurs the growth of the wearer and lead people to victory and success.