Sphene, better known to mineralogists as titanite, is a spectacular gemstone prized by collectors for its diamond-like luster and high dispersion. The name sphene is derived from a Greek rook meaning wedge for the shape of its crystals. The color can range from yellow to red, brown, brownish, or yellowish green to green, and black. Sphene has a high birefringence and shows doubling of facet junctions.
- Optical Properties
- Characteristic Physical Properties
- Chemistry & Crystallography
Strength: Strong Fire Value: 0.051
Over The Limit 1.843-2.110 Tolerance: (+0.020/-0.020)
Doubly Refractive (DR)
SWUV: Inert to weak brown
Trichroic, (in green gems) strong greenish yellow, yellow to brown, and colorless; (in brown gems) strong yellow, reddish-orange, and brownish yellow and brownish orange, (in yellow gems) moderate to strong greenish yellow, brownish-orange, and colorless
Sphene occasionally contains tiny crystals that align in straight rows or "feathers", natural inclusions, actinolite needles. Twinning is common. Stones have strong dispersion and eye-visible doubling.
SubAdamantine, Resinous, Adamantine
Conchoidal, Subconchoidal, Splintery
Good, in one direction
calcium titanium silicate
Titanite, Chrome Sphene
Countries of Origin
Viet Nam; United States of America; Ukraine; Uzbekistan; Zimbabwe; Madagascar; Zambia; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
Sphene is a soft stone, so be mindful of scratching.