Definition of sphene in English:



mass noun
  • A greenish-yellow or brown mineral consisting of a silicate of calcium and titanium, occurring in granitic and metamorphic rocks in wedge-shaped crystals.

    • ‘How about sphene versus titanite, or celestine versus celestite?’
    • ‘Titanium resides principally in heavy minerals: ilmenite, rutile, anatase and sphene, whereas Zr is located predominantly in zircon.’
    • ‘Ilmenite is now largely preserved as skeletal crystals in which exsolved magnetite lamellae have been altered, and the ilmenite itself partly altered to sphene.’
    • ‘The main constituent phases of these rocks are plagioclase, hornblende, pyroxene, quartz and K-feldspar, and accessory phases include magnetite, sphene, zircon and apatite.’
    • ‘One of my favorite gems is sphene, or more properly, titanite.’


Early 19th century: from French sphène, from Greek sphēn ‘wedge’.