Kunzite

Kunzite  
Colours

Pinkish Violet, through Pink to light Violet

Family

Spodumene, LiAl(Si206)

Hardness

6 - 7

Refractive Index

1.655 – 1.680

Specific Gravity

3.16 - 3.20

Crystal System

Monoclinic

Enhancements May be enhanced
Major Sources

Madagascar, Brazil, Myanmar, and USA

Warnings for Care Colour change may occur with mild – moderate heat

Kunzite Facts

Discovered in California at the end of the nineteenth century, Kunzite was named after Tiffany’s legendary gemologist and famous gemstone author, George Frederick Kunz, who was the first to describe the mineral in 1902.

G. F. Kunz noted that this beautiful pink gemstone had two distinct properties, namely  phosphorescence, where, like diamond, Kunzite glows in a darkened room after it has been exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays and pleochroism, the appearance of different colors when viewed from different directions. These phenomena are best seen in larger sized gems set into jewelry like pendants, drop and chandelier earrings, and rings with open settings that let the light flow freely through them, accentuating the gems natural fire to full effect.

Topics of Interest:
Kunzite - What Causes the Colour
Purchasing Kunzite
Mineable Deposits
Kunzite - Common Treatments
Important & Famous Kunzite
Kunzite  - The Legend

Kunzite - What Causes the Colour

In Kunzite the main causal colour agent is Manganese, varying quantities of which produce the range of colours from pinkish purple, through pink to light violet.

Purchasing Kunzite

Colour
Kunzite is a pink to violet gemstone, and buyers should beware that yellow Kunzite, mint Kunzite and white Kunzite are trades name used to describe yellow, light green and colorless Spodumene, rather than being true varieties of Kunzite.

Lighting
Kunzite can fade as a result of exposure to bright sunlight or high UV content lighting, hence it is best observed as an evening or morning stone In low lighting conditions,

Clarity
A fine quality Kunzite is transparent, allowing  the light to pass through the stone unhindered. Any translucency slightly weakens the passage of the light through the stone. The best quality Kunzites are "eye-clean", being free of visible inclusions of any kind. Since Kunzite deposits are plentiful in relation to demand, there is little reason other than a price constraint to buy stones with visible inclusions.

Cut
Kunzite is strongly pleochroic, meaning that it exhibits a color intensity variation and change when viewed from different directions. The top and bottom of the crystal reveal the deepest colors and an experienced gem cutter is required to make the most of the rough. This to a certain extent determines the common cuts which are rectangles, ovals and cushions.

Mineable Deposits

Currently the most important deposits are located in Brazil (Minas Gerais). Other smaller deposits are located in  Afghanistan, Madagascar, Myanmar, Pakistan and the type locality in the United States.

Common Kunzite Treatments

Both heat treatment and irradiation are used to enhance the intensity of the pink colour, in fine Kunzites. Brownish and green-violet rough or cut stones can be improved in color by heating to about 150 degrees C.

Important & famous Kunzite

Although several impressively large pieces exist there are no truly important or famous Kunzites. The exception being a beautiful 47-carat Kunzite ring purchased by President John F. Kennedy as a gift for his wife (but never given by him to her), which was sold for more than $ 410,000 at a Sotheby's auction of the Estate of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in 1996.

Kunzite the Legend

Being a relative newcomers on the gemstone scene there are no known legends or myths associated with Kunzite

Precious Semi-Precious Gemstones

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