Hiddenite is a pale-to-emerald green variety of spodumene that is sometimes used as a gemstone. The first specimens of the hiddenite variety of spodumene were recovered about 1879 near the tiny settlement of White Plains, west of Stony Point, Alexander County, North Carolina. According to contemporary accounts, a young man named Lackey brought them to the attention of J.A.D. Stephenson, a local merchant who was also an ardent collector of minerals. Initially, the yellowish to greenish-yellow hiddenites were thought to be gemmy diopside. Stephenson brought the discovery to the attention of exploration geologist William Earl Hidden, who had been commissioned by Thomas Edison to search for any sources of platinum in North Carolina. Hidden sent samples of the odd green material to J. Lawrence Smith, a prominent chemist and mineralogist of Louisville, Kentucky. Smith correctly identified the specimens as being a variety of spodumene, and named them "hiddenite" in honor of Hidden. The community in which the gemstones were first found would later be renamed "Hiddenite". During the hey-day of hiddenite mining in the 1880s and 1890s it was also known as "lithia emerald".