Feature Gems & Gemology, Summer 1982, Vol. 18, No. 2

Radioactive Irradiated Spodumene

During routine testing, a parcel of spodumene imported from Brazil was found to be radioactive. Detailed analysis showed that individual stones had levels of gamma ray emission far above those acceptable for jewelry purposes. Gamma ray spectroscopy revealed that they had been irradiated with neutrons. The colors of these stones are similar to those observed in citrine and have no counterpart in untreated spodumene. They range from brownish orange through orange to orange-yellow and greenish yellow.