By Parent Géry - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The rarest of the green gems

Hiddenite is a beautiful green mineral- but that's not what makes it special, there are many other magnificent green crystals such as emeralds, olivine and epidote. It's special because it's so rare. True hiddenite is only found in North Carolina.

Learn more this coveted gem here, and don't miss the interview with the mineralogist Dr. Michael Wise, from the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, who has been studying hiddenite for many years and trying to uncover its secrets.

Not an emerald!

Many people mistakingly think hiddenite is a type of emerald, but it's not, it's an entirely different mineral called spodumene.

What is an Emerald?

Emeralds are a green variety of the mineral beryllium. We know this because beryllium often forms as a hexagon, 6-sided, which we can see in the picture to the right. But, the green color is acquired from small amounts of chromium and vanadium found within the crystal structure. Emeralds also have a hardness of 7.5-8 on the Moh's scale, which makes them pretty hard and very beautiful in jewelry!

How is Spodumene different than Emerald?