Titanite (Sphene)
Gems and Jewelry, 12.1 x 8.7 mm; 4.48 carats
Sometimes this species is referred to as "Sphene," but it is an outdated name and the correct name is Titanite, though both are accepted in the gem and mineral world. It seems to me that more often it is referred to as "Sphene" in the gem world and Titanite in the mineral world. Sphene is from the Greek word sphenos which means wedge in allusion to the characteristic wedge-shaped crystals. Titanite alludes to the dark brown to black color of the original specimens which were very rich in Titanium. Faceted Sphene is a wonderful gemstone, rich in fire and with superb intense colors, and typically shows double refraction. This is a great size stone for the material. It is from a fairly new find in Afghanistan that has produced some impressive stones. It has a wonderful greenish-gold color, with only very slight inclusions and a nice Oval cut. Titanite has one of the highest refractive indices of almost any gem in the world. This gem reflects a variety of colors from red to orange to yellow.
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