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Sphene Gemstone

Sphene is one of the newest gemstones to be discovered, taking its name from the Greek word  for “wedge” - due to its typical wedge-shaped crystal  structure.  It  is  sometimes  known  as “Titanite”, due to its titanium content. Its colour  is generally green, yellow or darkish grey, yet in some forms it can also be brown and even black.

Registering 5.5 on the Mohs scale, the softness of the stone makes it difficult to facet; but because  it  is  so  beautiful,  many  Lapidarists  are  often tempted to give it a go. The gem is transparent to translucent in appearance and can often feature  the  most  amazing  adamantine  lustre.  Sphene also  has  fire  (dispersion)  greater  than  that  of even Diamonds and is therefore ideal when set in earrings or pendants that are designed to be fluid.   Its double refraction enables the light  that  travels  through  the  gem  to  be  split  into  two  directions,  creating  an  exceptional  array  of colours. Strongly coloured Sphenes are also  heavily pleochroic. The gemstone is mined in  Pakistan, Mount Vesuvius, Italy, Russia, Canada  and the USA.

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A Jacque Christie ring featuring a solitaire Sphene

 

A Colour-Change Sphene.