Sphene, image and cutting by the talented Phil Lagas-Rivera at http://www.etsy.com/shop/thatsbrilliant
With this entry I am now caught up on Gemstones of the Week (hooray!), and today’s stone is just fun to say. Hehe…sphene…
Sphene gets its name from the Greek word for wedge, which describes the shape the crystals tend to form. Sphene is formally called titanite for the presence of titanium, and is a calcium titanium silicate, mixed with other trace elements. Sphene has higher light dispersion than diamonds, seen as a fiery brilliance that plays within the facets of the gem. I like to think of it looking like sunlight playing through a forest in autumn. It is the same effect that occurs in prisms, only with the addition of a vibrant base color. Sphene tends to be bright chartreuse green or golden yellow, but with additional heat it can also be browns, reds and oranges. However, at only 5.5 on the Moh’s scale, it’s a soft stone and is usually best suited to earrings or pendants that take less wear. Madagascar is the primary source of gem quality sphene, but beautiful specimens have been found all over the world, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, and Austria. It has been gaining in popularity in recent years.
Like the brilliance held inside the stone, sphene is thought to bring out a person’s inner light, as well as gentleness and contentment. It is also believed to aid in learning and sparking creativity.