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THE MINERAL SPHENE

  • Chemistry: CaTiSiO5, Calcium Titanium Silicate
  • Class: Silicates
  • Subclass: Nesosilicates
  • Uses: Mineral specimens, source of TiO2 (a pigment) and as a gemstone.
  • Specimens

[/_inline.htm]Sphene is named from the greek word for wedge, because of its typical wedge shaped crystal habit. It is also alternatively called titanite for its titanium content. Spene can be cut as gems although it is considered a rarity on the gem market. It brings to the table a fire greater than diamond and unique color shades. However its softness limits its desirability as a gemstone. Twinning is common in sphene and forms a classic twin shape that is found mostly in Pakistan. The twin is shaped like a deflated, caved-in football, only with flatter surfaces. Spene can form nice crystals and can make a lovely addition to the collection of a collector who appreciates different crystal forms.

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PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS:

  • Color is green, yellow, white, brown or black.
  • Luster is adamantine.
  • Transparency: Crystals are transparent to translucent.
  • Crystal System: Monoclinic; 2/m
  • Crystal Habits include elongated wedges that form tabular or platy crystals. Some crystals are not so elongated and can have a trigonal appearance similar to a flattened rhombohedron. Twinning is common and produces a twin that is shaped like a deflatted, caved-in football, only with flatter surfaces.
  • Cleavage is indistinct in two directions
  • Fracture is conchoidal
  • Hardness is 5 - 5.5
  • Specific Gravity is 3.3 - 3.6
  • Streak is white.
  • Associated Minerals are chlorite, anatase, calcite, quartz, zircon and feldspars.
  • Other Characteristics: Pleochroic if strongly colored.
  • Notable Occurances include Gilget, Pakistan; Mt Vesuvius, Italy; Kola Penn., Russia; Ontario, Canada and New York and California, USA.
  • Best Field Indicators are crystal habit, luster, hardness, twinning if present and color.
This Site Awarded
Available SPHENE specimens:
SPHENE specimen SPE-18
$ 69.00 -20% = $ 55.20
Dims: 1.54x1.14x0.82in (3.91x2.89x2.09cm) .... Wt: 0.67oz (19.0g) .... Loc: Campo do Boa mine, Capelinha, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Although showing damage along one face (a bottom) where it was separated from part of the host rock, the color of the single large sphene crystal on this specimen is deep and excellent. The other crystals are also appealing, including what may be gypsum, plus lots of black crystals that have the color and luster of hematite, but look more like the droppings of some crystalline insect (at least through a loupe).
no photo
SPE-18
$ 55.20
no photo
SPHENE specimen SPE-19
$ 48.00 -20% = $ 38.40
Dims: 1.76x1.30x0.61in (4.47x3.31x1.54cm) .... Wt: 0.64oz (18.0g) .... Loc: Campo do Boa mine, Capelinha, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Two large and two tiny sphene crystals adorn the druzy host rock. One of the larger crystals is a classic titanite twin. Accompanying the sphene are at least six different minerals.
no photo
SPE-19
$ 38.40
no photo
SPHENE specimen SPE-17
$ 48.00 -20% = $ 38.40
Dims: 1.34x0.78x0.64in (3.40x1.98x1.63cm) .... Wt: 0.67oz (19.0g) .... Loc: Campo do Boa mine, Capelinha, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Three large sphene crystals are the feature of this specimen, which has a host rock covered with a druze of hundreds of tiny sphene crystals. The color is margerita green (why am I suddenly thirsty? It must be the summer heat outside).The large crystals have an odd surface texture, caused by the presence of some brown mineral, which, when picked off, leaves curvy tracks in the surface.
no photo
SPE-17
$ 38.40
no photo
see this List of ALL specimens including SOLD ones

 

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