Pyroxene is a diverse group of inosilicate minerals that belong to the pyroxenoid subclass, characterized by their single chains of silicon-oxygen tetrahedra. Pyroxene minerals exhibit various colors, including green, black, and brown, with a vitreous to dull luster. They form well-shaped prismatic or tabular crystals that often exhibit characteristic hourglass zoning. Pyroxene is a common mineral in both igneous and metamorphic rocks and is a primary constituent of the Earth’s mantle.


Pyroxene minerals have a variety of applications, primarily in the fields of geology, petrology, and mineralogy. They are used as an essential tool for understanding the Earth’s crust and mantle compositions, as well as the geological processes that shape our planet. In addition, pyroxene minerals are used in the manufacturing of ceramics, glass, and certain types of steel, where their high melting points and stability contribute to the desired properties of the final products.


Although pyroxene is not traditionally considered a gemstone, some varieties, such as jadeite and spodumene, are valued for their aesthetic and metaphysical properties. These gem-quality pyroxene minerals are used in various types of jewelry and decorative objects, with jadeite being particularly prized in many cultures for its vibrant green color, toughness, and historical significance.


Pyroxene minerals are formed through various geological processes, including the cooling and crystallization of magma in igneous rocks and the metamorphism of rocks under high temperatures and pressures. Pyroxene is also known to occur in extraterrestrial rocks, such as meteorites, providing valuable insights into the composition and history of the solar system.


Pyroxene minerals are found worldwide, with occurrences in a wide range of geological environments. They are abundant in mafic and ultramafic igneous rocks, such as basalt and gabbro, and are also common in metamorphic rocks like amphibolite and eclogite. Some of the largest deposits of pyroxene minerals can be found in the United States, Canada, Russia, and Greenland.


In metaphysical and spiritual practices, pyroxene minerals, particularly jadeite and spodumene, are believed to possess various properties. They are said to promote emotional healing, grounding, and protection from negative energies. Pyroxene minerals are also considered to facilitate spiritual growth and enhance one’s connection to the Earth, providing stability and support during times of change and transformation.

FormulaXY(Si,Al)2O6 (where X and Y are metal cations) 
LusterVitreous to dull 
Hardness (Mohs)5 – 7
StreakWhite, greenish-white, or gray
ColorGreen, black, brown, colorless
CleavageGood in two directions at approximately 90 degrees
Specific Gravity30 – 3.7