What color is it?: Well, that’s kind of hard to say. But not as hard trying to photograph all of these colors. Sphene has a rather unusual ability to take a beam of light and break it into all of the spectral colors. So that it will change color depending which angle you are looking at it. Basically it is green. But as as you can see in the two photos above of the same pendant taken from different angles, one has bright yellow/green flashes while the other has bright red/green flashes (if our computer monitors are compatible…otherwise take my word for it). So sphene is green, with just about every other color of the rainbow mixed in somewhere.
What is the story behind this gemstone?: Sphene is a fairly unusual gemstone that until a very few years ago was virtually unknown to most jewelry consumers. However, recent finds in Brazil and the Far East have brought more and more of the material to the market which has resulted in an increased awareness of this gemstone.
Can I wear it everyday?: Basically yes, but it is a little bit brittle. So do with a pendant, necklace or earrings, unless you are going to get a fairly substantial stone for a ring. And don’t go out and frame houses with it on. Like tanzanites and some other stones it won’t take a lot of heavy, rough wear. But as earrings and pendants (where the light can react with it best anyway) you will have no problems.
Is it expensive?: Right now…not really. About the same as a nice tourmaline. But as more people read this page you may wish that you went shopping for your sphene early.
Is it a birthstone?: Sphene will be named a birthstone right before Maw Sit Sit becomes one.
What do I need to know before going shopping?: You are going to need a very well trained independent retail jeweler to find you a sphene right now. Look for an independent retail jeweler who sells a lot of colored gemstones and has access to some good colored stone suppliers. And then, be patient. It may take a while to find a really nice stone. And remember, you are looking for what we call dispersion or fire. That is the many beautiful colors coming out of the otherwise green stone. That is the mark of quality for a nice sphene.
another try at capturing the dispersion of sphene…….
Source: Brazil and Mexico
Chemical: CaTi9(O/SiO4) (called titanite by some reference books)
Formation: Igneous rock formations
Crystal System: Monoclinic
Unusual Properties: Extreme dispersion or fire of colors