The Gemstone Hiddenite
Hiddenite is the green gem variety of the mineral
Spodumene. Spodumene is a common mineral, but only in several
localities does it occur in transparent gem form. One gem form of
Spodumene is Kunzite, the other important and much rarer form is Hiddenite. Hiddenite is named after William Earl Hidden, who was instrumental in identifying this new gemstone. The town in North Carolina where this gemstone was found was subsequently given the name "Hiddenite" in honor of the gemstone.
6.5 - 7
1.66 - 1.68
3.1 - 3.2
1,2 - prismatic
Hiddenite was first found in 1879, and in strict terms is defined as the green, chromium-rich transparent variety of Spodumene from North Carolina. Although additional localities containing
transparent green Spodumene were found since then, their significance lacks in comparison to the material from the type locality
. Chromium impurities
are responsible for the green color in North Carolina Hiddenite; the other localities generally produce lighter colored and more yellowish in tone, and lack the chromium.
In a strict sense, the term Hiddenite refers specifically to the green transparent Spodumene variety originating in Alexander Co., North Carolina. However, since the recent discoveries of green Spodumene in Afghanistan and Brazil, the term has been corrupted by the gem and mineral industry to include all green gem Spodumene from other localities. Natural Hiddenite from North Carolina is very rare and increasingly difficult to obtain.
The perfect cleavage
and splintery fracture
of Hiddenite make it a
difficult gemstone to facet
. It is very sensitive to knocks and
chip if hit too hard. Hiddenite is also strongly pleochroic
, showing lighter and more intense coloring when viewed at different angles. Hiddenite can also be multicolored with more yellowish tones on one end and greener on another; or even one side deep green and the other nearly colorless. In general, deeper green and uniform color in Hiddenite increases the value.
Hiddenite, like Kunzite
can fade upon prolonged exposure to bright light and sunlight. It may also be artificially produced by irradiating
other forms of Spodumene, and these are very difficult to distinguish from the natural forms. Thus one should always be cautious and only purchase this gem from very reliable dealers.
Hiddenite is a very rare connoisseur gemstone, and good gems are remarkably valuable and increasingly difficult to come across. It is cut into various gemstone facet
Treatments & Enhancements
Hiddenite is generally not treated or enhanced, though a deep emerald-green Hiddenite can be formed through irradiation
of other lighter forms of Spodumene
The only locality of true Hiddenite is Alexander Co., North Carlina, although other forms of green Spodumene which have come to be labeled as Hiddenite are found in Afghanistan and Brazil.
Emerald, green Tourmaline, and green Garnet
- Usually deeper green in color, has greater hardness
- Usually more yellow in tone; otherwise difficult to distinguish.
Hiddenite in the Rough Photos