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Hiddenite/Spodumene

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Hiddenite  

Chemical Composition : LiAlSi2O6 + Cr

Hardness : 6.5 – 7.0

Specific Gravity (Density) : 3.03 – 3.23 (g/cm3)

Refractive Index : 1.653 – 1.682 Biaxial ( + )

Hiddenite is a very rare member of the Spodumene Family of minerals that also includes Kunzite. Hiddenite was discovered in Alexander County, North Carolina, USA and named after William Earl Hidden, owner of a mine in North Carolina near where it was discovered. The nearby town of White Plains was renamed Hiddenite after the beautiful green mineral. The name Hiddenite was originally used to described only the light to deep green mineral from Alexander County, North Carolina, USA. Crystals from this location are colored green by the presence of chromium. Some argue that the name should only apply to the green crystals from North Carolina containing chromium. Others say it can be applied to any Spodumene that is of any shade of yellow, yellowish green or green from any location. Originally Hiddenite was defined in 1892 by George Frederick Kunz (1856-1932), a famous author and gemologist, as “always transparent, ranges from colorless (rare) to a light yellow, into a yellowish green, then into a deep yellow emerald green. Sometimes an entire crystal has a uniform green color, but generally one end is yellow and the other green.” These days, the name is used to describe a wide variety of Spodumene crystals and gems from several locations and with a wide variety of colors from very pale yellow (nearly colorless) to very pale yellowish green to deep emerald green.

Hiddenite is strongly pleochroic, meaning it has a color intensity difference when viewed from different directions. It is a very difficult gem to facet because of its strong pleochroism and easy, splintery cleavage.

Using the loose definition of Hiddenite, the mineral is found in several locations around the world including Afghanistan, Minas Gerais, Brazil; Xinjiang-Uygur, China; Ambatovita, Madagascar; Alto Ligonha District, Mozambique; and Shigar, Pakistan.

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