Sphene Gemstones

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Sphene

The unusual gemstone sphene, also known as titanite, is one of the main ore minerals, including titanium. Examples of gem quality are very rare and can be associated with diamonds in terms of the play on the lighting. The stone was called for the unique shape of the crystals because from ancient Greek, “sphenos” means “wedge.”

Description of the sphene stone:

  • Color. Green, yellow and brown colors characterize this stone. The most expensive shade is bright green. Tawny specimens are less valuable.
  • Weight. Sphenes larger than 15 ct with good purity, rich color are of great gemological rarity. 
  • Cost. The price of a carat of low quality is usually up to $100, and a carat of large titanite weighing more than 10 carats of high quality reaches $300-500.
  • Place of mining. Sphenes of gem quality are quite rare. Now the main deposits of it are situated in Madagascar, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar (Burma), Brazil, and the United States. Most of the gem-quality stones on the world market are from Madagascar.
In most cases, these are stones weighing up to 5 ct, having a mediocre cut quality, a dull swamp hue, and scratches are visible on the surface. This is due to the rarity of bright, beautiful specimens of high purity, as well as low hardness – 5 on the Mohs scale, which limits its use in everyday jewelry, especially rings. Securing a faceted specimen requires a great skill of the jeweler. With strong pressure from the tool, the surface can be scratched. However, only high-quality specimens are presented on our site since our specialists have the proper experience in jewelry.

Also, sphene stone characteristics include:

  • The mineral is found in the form of wedge-shaped (monoclinic) crystals.
  • Occasionally forms acicular and granular aggregates.
  • Often there are opaque or translucent crystals, sometimes transparent.
  • It has amazing optical properties. Its dispersion is even higher than that of a diamond. Therefore, in jewelry, it will sparkle perfectly.
Sphene is a semi-precious stone. In jewelry, yellow, green, and light brown sphene specimens are in demand, containing chromium and zinc and distinguished by higher strength.

How to distinguish a real sphene stone from a fake?

Since this gem belongs to the semi-precious class, it is often counterfeited. The reserves of crystals are limited. Usually, they are replaced with cheap minerals, or glass. To reveal a fake, you should:
  • Pleochroism property. Sphene is a pleochroic stone showing more than one color depending on the angle from which it is viewed. In addition, transparent samples of sphene are distinguished by trichroism, showing three different colors. Therefore, a real stone must have this property.
  • Check the dispersions. An authentic gem will sparkle with three bright colors in the center, which will gradually fade towards the edges. Also, these minerals give the characteristic shine of diamonds.
  • Examine the edges and stone shades. The imitation does not show iridescent overflows. The colors of genuine sphene are not very saturated and not motley.
Take a look at the Gem Lovers catalog, which contains the most interesting offers of rare gems, each of which is fully certified. We select mainly transparent specimens of bright yellow and green color, visually clean, high-quality cut, from different world countries for sale. If you did not find the required sphene in the catalog, use our service for your specific request to find it – just contact us! Photos, videos, detailed descriptions, and information provided for each crystal will help you make the right choice.