HIDDENITE, the green color variety of the mineral spodumene


  • VARIETY OF: Spodumene , LiAlSi2 O6.
  • USES: Gemstone.
  • COLOR: various shades of green.
  • HARDNESS: 6.5
  • CLEAVAGE: is perfect in two directions
  • CRYSTAL SYSTEM: monoclinic
  • Specimens

Hiddenite is an attractive gem mineral, but is rare and for the most part known only to collectors. The green color varies from a yellowish to a bluish green and can even approach the beauty of an emerald green. Hiddenite is one of two gemstone varieties of spodumene.

The other variety is pink and is called kunzite. Hiddenite is strongly pleochroic, meaning there is a color intensity variation when a crystal of it is viewed from different directions. The top and bottom of the crystal reveal the deepest colors and knowlegable gem cutters take advantage of its effects. Hiddenite was exclusively (until recent finds in Madagascar and Brazil) found in Alexander Co., North Carolina and was first discovered there in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Due to hiddenite's cleavage, splintery fracture and strong pleochroism, it is considered a real gem cutter's challenge.
HIDDENITE specimens:
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HIDDENITE specimen hid-1
$ 48.00
Dims: 1.4" x 1.1" x 0.6"(3.6 x 2.8 x 1.5 cm)
Wt: 20.7 g
Minas Gerais, Brazil
Now, I know that there are some of the mineral cognoscenti out there that will frown upon my putting Brazilian spodumene down as "Hiddenite". However, the particular green color of this material implies that it is not caused by iron, but rather by chromium. This particular specimen is made up of a single crystal. It appears to be double-terminated, as it has two crystal faces on opposite ends of the piece. It is much shorter for its width and thickness than most that I have seen. At first I thought there were spots of damage on the specimen, but I realized that spodumene doesn't have a conchoidal fracture, so I knew that the curved faces that I saw were natural in occurrence. Its color is a rather pale green that has no yellow tinge, as does most of the green spodumene from Brazil. Its luster is vitreous and it is transparent, but has many internal cleavage lines and fractures, and some cloudiness in spots. Though misshapen, this crystal has almost no damage.
no photo
hid-1 ($ 48.00)
Minas Gerais, Brazil
HIDDENITE specimen hid-2
$ 44.00
Dims: 1.9" x 1.4" x 0.3"(4.8 x 3.6 x 0.8 cm)
Wt: 13.6 g
Minas Gerais, Brazil
This specimen consists of a broad, flat bladed Hiddenite crystal with a rather odd form. It has a wedge-shaped, two-face termination and curved striations and fomations in its main prism faces. Its thin, secondary prism faces are incomplete, and may have been broken, leaving very uneven faces and edges. The base of the crystal basically tapers down to an uneven "edge", but there is a thin, natural, angled termination face visible. The most astounding aspect of this specimen is the thin, rectangular hole that goes through the center of the crystal; the hole is much longer on one side than on the other, but retains a generally rectangular shape. The crystal's color is a pale green that has almost a hint of blue to it, and it has a vitreous luster. It is transparent and clear, although patterns and striations on its surface interrupt the view through it, along with a small cloudy area.
no photo
hid-2 ($ 44.00)
Minas Gerais, Brazil
HIDDENITE specimen hid-3
$ 36.00
Dims: 1.4" x 0.6" x 0.5"(3.6 x 1.5 x 1.3 cm)
Wt: 11.8 g
Kunar Valley, Afghanistan
A single crystal of pale Hiddenite constitutes this Afghani specimen. It occurs as a monoclinic prismatic crystal with a domed termination that is made up of 3 angled faces. It shows moderate damage and has very good form, with well-defined edges and smooth faces that show a luster ranging from nearly matte to pearly. The crystal has a very pale green coloration that shows a hint of blue. Its prism faces are heavily striated and one of its termination faces shows a growth-related pattern. These striations interfere with one's view into the crystal, which is transparent and quite clear, though several internal fractures are visible. Even with its damage, the form of this specimen is excellent.
no photo
hid-3 ($ 36.00)
Kunar Valley, Afghanistan
HIDDENITE specimen hid-4
$ 48.00
Dims: 1.1" x 0.8" x 0.5"(2.8 x 2.0 x 1.3 cm)
Wt: 10.5 g
Kunar Valley, Afghanistan
Although this particular Hiddenite crystal is quite small, it has several traits that make it exceptional. It appears to consist of 3 monocinic prismatic crystals that have intergrown to form a parallel association of sorts, but I will refer to it as a single entity. This "crystal" has excellent form, with well-defined edges and clean faces, and shows no human-induced damage. It appears as if the crystal had been broken off during its formation, and the break was subsequently partially healed. All of the prism faces show parallel striations that run their lengths, and the largest termination shows many small, triangular growth patterns. The crystal has a moderately pale green coloration with a tinge of blue, but is deeper in color for its size than any other that I have seen. It has a luster that ranges from vitreous to waxy depending on the face that is viewed, and is transparent and quite clear, though there are several internal fractures that run the crystal's length. It just fits inside a small, domed thimble box, and displays very well. It is one of the nicest specimens of this material that I have seen.
no photo
hid-4 ($ 48.00)
Kunar Valley, Afghanistan
HIDDENITE specimen hid-5
$ 70.00
Dims: 2.1" x 0.7" x 0.3"(5.3 x 1.8 x 0.8 cm)
Wt: 15.7 g
Kunar Valley, Afghanistan
This pale Hiddenite crystal has probably the best form that I have seen in a spodumene crystal. It shows no damage and occurs as what appears to be along, flat, monoclinic, penetration-twinned crystal with opposing shallow, wedge-shaped terminations. Just below each termination on opposite sides of the crystal is one face of a second termination that is parallel to the termination face above it. That is what makes me think that this is a twinned crystal. It shows a bit of wear at one end, but its edges are nonetheless well-defined and its faces are quite clean. Prism faces are, of course, striated and have a nearly vitreous luster, and termination faces are dappled with tiny growth patterns, giving them an almost silky sheen. The crystal's color is a pale green at its terminations and fades to nearly colorless towards its center. It is transparent and shows reasonable clarity, though many internal fractures are visible and span its length. Its form is clearly its best aspect.
no photo
hid-5 ($ 70.00)
Kunar Valley, Afghanistan


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