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Spodumene (var. hiddenite)

Spodumene (var. hiddenite) from Unknown
Photo by Ken Larsen. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH G11404-00
Weight 4.69 ct

Purchased with funds from the Tiffany & Co. Foundation in 2011.

The name spodumene comes from a Greek word meaning “ash-colored,” in reference to the gray color and dull, woody luster of typical spodumene crystals. In some places, however, spodumene is found as lustrous transparent pink or green crystals that can be cut in to the gemstones known as kunzite and hiddenite, respectively. In 1897, a vibrant green variety of spodumene was found associated with emerald in North Carolina and was named hiddenite, after its discoverer W.E. Hidden. Hiddenite is the rarest spodumene gem, and the deep color of the crystals from North Carolina, caused by traces of chromium, has not been matched by any other locality. Brazil is the source of pale green to yellow spodumene, which is sometimes inappropriately marketed as hiddenite. Emerald green hiddenite has never been common and faceted stones larger than a few carats are extremely rare. This 4.69ct fancy navette-cut gem is a lively yellowish-green color. It is a major updgrade, and the largest hiddenite, in the National Gem Collection.


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