Sphene, also known as Titanite, is a brilliant yellowish-green, green or brown gemstone of high luster, unique color shades and, with brilliant cut, an intensive fire that can approximate diamond. While in demand for a long time, sphene has been a rare gem on the market. New deposits have now increased market quantities.
Sphene is named from the Greek word for "wedge", because of its typical wedge shaped crystal habit. The mineralogical name "Titanite" derives from its titanium contents.
With a hardness rating of 5-5.5 on the Mohs scale, sphene is a relatively soft gemstone that needs care and qualifies best for pendants, earrings or brooches.
Sphene color can be changed to red or orange through heating.
Where is Sphene found?
Common Sphene Treatments
Sphene legends & lore
A brilliant yellowish-green or green is the most desired color. Sphene also comes in brown and reddish shades as well. Sphene color can be changed to red or orange through heating.
Crystals of sphene are fairly small and typically don't exceed the two carat range.
A brilliant yellowish-green or green is the most desired color.
Sphene is strongly pleochroic, displaying at least three colors (colorless, greenish-yellow, reddish) when looked at from different angles.
Sphene is transparent to opaque. Most sphene have at least some inclusions and clean pieces are rare.
The brilliant cut serves the potential of "fire" in a sphene best. Depending on the clarity sphene is also shaped in cabochon and round cut.
Sphene location and deposits
Sphene deposits are found in: Sri Lanka, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Myanmar, Pakistan, Russia, Switzerland and the United States.
Common Sphene treatments
Sphene color can be changed to red or orange through heating, but most sphene is untreated.
Sphene, not commonly seen, hasn't gained any fame as of yet.
Color: Yellow, brown, green, reddish
Chemical composition: CaTiSiO5 calcium titanium silicate
Crystal system: (Monoclinic) platy
Hardness: 5 - 5.5 (Mohs scale)
Specific gravity: 3.52 - 3.54
Refractive index: 1.843 - 2.110
Birefringence: +0.100 to +0.192
Color of streak: White,
Absorption spectrum: 586, 582
The Sphene zodiac, myth & legend
As a lesser-known gemstone, sphene produces a blank page in the books of myth, history, wisdom, the zodiac scheme or the relation between planets and mankind.