Spodumene is a pyroxene mineral consisting of lithium aluminium inosilicate - LiAl(SiO3)2 - and is a source of lithium. It occurs as colorless to yellowish, purplish or lilac kunzite (see below), yellowish-green or emerald-green hiddenite, prismatic crystals, often of great size. Single crystals of 14.3 m in size are reported from the Black Hills of South Dakota, United States.
Crystals form in the monoclinic system and are typically heavily striated parallel to the principal axis. Crystal faces are often etched and pitted with triangular markings.
Spodumene is derived from the Greek spodumenos (σποδυμενος), meaning "burnt to ashes," owing to the opaque, ash-grey appearance of material refined for use in industry.
Spodumene occurs in lithium rich granites and pegmatites. Transparent material has long been used as a gemstone with varieties kunzite and hiddenite noted for their strong pleochroism. Source localities include Brazil, Madagascar, USA (North Carolina, California), Afghanistan, and Pakistan.