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Magnesium iron silicate


  • Class : Silicates
  • Subclass : Inosilicates
  • Group : Pyroxene

Physical Characteristics

  • Hardness : 5-6
  • Density : 3.3 - 3.8
  • Transparency : Crystal are rarely transluscent
  • Crystal system : Orthorhombic , 2/m 2/m 2/m
  • Cleavage : Perfect in two directions at nearly 90 degrees
  • Streak : White
  • Index of refraction : 1,69 - 1,77



Hypersthene is a rare material that has silvery to bronze metallic colored chatoyance. When the slab or stone is moved, chatoyance lines roll across the stone

The name hypersthene came from the Greek language and means

"over strength".

It has been named in comparison with another mineral of similar appearance, the amphibole mineral hornblende


Metallic looking bands vary greatly from one stone to another. Thin, thick, straight or curly waves can be seen. Anything is possible! Usually, stones showing thin waves are preferred for jewelley and pendants makers, because more bands are presented in a little stone piece.

Thin bands HyperstheneLarge bands HyperstheneStraight bands Hypersthenecurly hypersthene
Thin bandsLarge bandsStraight bandsWaves bands

Green form hypersthene

Hypersthene sometimes appear in a green color scheme. This variety is smoother than the common black form. For each hundred pound of hypersthene found, only a few are this color!

Some hypersthene specimens are sometimes found withlabradoriteinclusions within it. It gives the hypersthene piece an astounding looking and value. A large polished slice of this mixed stones is surely a centerpiece in any mineral collection!

hypersthene with labradorite inclusion

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Content by courtesy of: Saguenay Minerals
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