KUNZITE

Posted by Muhammad Ibrahim on

KUNZITE

Collectors love kunzite for its color range, from delicate pastel pink to intense violetish purple.


Kunzite Description

Kunzite is the light pink to violetish purple variety of the mineral spodumene. It’s found in Afghanistan, Brazil, Madagascar, and the US state of California. The gem was named after pioneering gemologist George Frederick Kunz (1856-1932).

Kunzite has two perfect cleavage directions. It’s pleochroic, with the best color visible when you look down the length of the crystal. Cutters keep these factors in mind when they orient gems for finishing. They might also cut a kunzite deep to emphasize its pink to violet color.

It is not unusual to find kunzite in large sizes. The Smithsonian Institution houses a faceted heart-shaped kunzite that weighs 880 carats.

Kunzite can be irradiated and then heat-treated to enhance its color. Both treated and natural color in kunzite can fade with exposure to heat and bright light.


BIRTHSTONES & ANNIVERSARIES

Some consider kunzite to be an alternate birthstone for February.


WHY WE LOVE THIS GEMSTONE

AFFORDABLE: In spite of its rarity and beauty, kunzite can be quite affordable because it’s relatively unknown.

BLADES: Kunzite is monoclinic and its crystals often take on a blade-like shape. Its rough form is dramatic.

PEGMATITES: Kunzites are found in pegmatite deposits, often along with tourmaline, beryl, and other gems.

INFORMATION

MINERAL: Spodumene
CHEMICAL COMPOSITION: LiAlSi2O6
COLOR: Pink-violetish purple, light-intense
REFRACTIVE INDEX: 1.660 to 1.676
BIREFRINGENCE: 0.014 to 0.016
SPECIFIC GRAVITY: 3.18
MOHS HARDNESS: 6.5 to 7.0

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