|Kunzite is the pale pink-violet to light violet species of the mineral spodumene. Kunzite is named as a tribute to George F. Kunz, the legendary American mineralogist and buyer for Tiffany & Co, who first described the gem in 1902. Kunzite is the pink-violet sister to the yellow-green hiddenite, another specimen of the spodumene family. Kunzite is strongly pleochroic, meaning there is a color intensity variation when a crystal of it is viewed from different directions. The top and bottom of the crystal reveal the deepest colors. Kunzite is very difficult to cut to ensure that the light passes trough the gem and accents the desired color. Kunzite is said to help one to understand and interact better with others.
Where is Kunzite found?
Common Kunzite treatments
Kunzite legends & lore
The violet-pink spodumene is usually quite pale but sometimes bright and intense. Its color agent is manganese. Like hiddenite, some specimens of kunzite may exhbit color fading if exposed to strong light.
The top and bottom of the crystal reveal the deepest colors and the cut has to take advantage of its effects.
Kunzite is strongly pleochroic, meaning there is a color intensity variation when a crystal of it is viewed from different directions.
Kunzite is a transparent gem, but can show frequently aligned inclusions such as tubes or fracture. An eye clean gem would be the best choice.
Kunzite usually gets a step (emerald) cut. Kunzite is strongly pleochroic, meaning there is a color intensity variation when a crystal of it is viewed from different directions. The top and bottom of the crystal reveal the deepest colors and experienced cutters take advantage of its effects. Due to Kunzite's cleavage, splintery fracture and strong pleochroism, it is considered a real gem cutter's challenge.
Kunzite location and deposits
The most important deposit belongs to "Minas Gerais" in Brazil. Other locations include Afghanistan, Madagascar, Myanmar, Pakistan and the United States.
Common Kunzite treatments
Brownish and green-violet gems can be improved in color by heating to about 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
A beautiful 47-carat kunzite ring that President Kennedy purchased as a gift for his wife but never had the chance to give her, sold for more than $ 410,000 at a Sotheby's auction of the Estate of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in 1996.
Color: Pink-violet, light violet
Chemical composition: LiAlSi206 lithium aluminum silicate
Crystal system: Monoclinic, prismatic, tabular
Hardness: 6.5 - 7 (Mohs scale)
Specific gravity: 3.15 - 3.21
Refractive index: 1.660 - 1.681
Birefringence: +0.014 to +0.016
Color of streak: White,
Absorption spectrum: Not diagnostic
Fluorescence: Strong: yellow-red, orange
The Kunzite zodiac, myth & legend
Some consider kunzite a modern-day birthstone for February, which lacks support of the traditionalists. The wearer of a kunzite gemstone is believed to be blessed with good fortune. Kunzite is said to help one to understand and interact better with others.
In Antiquity, as well as in the Middle Ages people believed that the cosmos is reflected in gemstones. Kunzite is assigned to the planets Pluto and Venus. The esoteric movement revived the ancient belief and the gem industry made it another marketing tool to promote certain gems.