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Kunzite is the pink to violetish purple variety of spodumene. The stone gets its color from trace amounts of manganese. Kunzite is better known than other spodumene varieties like hiddenite (green) and triphane (yellow). To obtain the best color and saturation in a stone it must be faceted with the table perpendicular to the length of the rough crystal. Kunzite often forms in large crystals that are highly sought after by mineral collectors. Kunzite displays strong fluorescence and phosphorescence that also makes it attractive fluorescent mineral collectors.

Kunzite Polished
Kunzite Classification
Common Name Kunzite
Species Spodumene
Kunzite Optical Properties
Transparency Transparent
Dispersion Strength: Moderate Fire Value: 0.017
Refractive Index 1.648-1.682
Birefringence 0.014- 0.018
Optic Character Biaxial
Optic Sign Positive
Polariscope Reaction Doubly Refractive (DR)
Fluorescence SWUV: Weak to moderate yellowish pink to orange
LWUV: Strong yellowish pink to orange
Pleochroism Trichroic, moderate to strong pink, purplish pink, and colorless
Kunzite Characteristic Physical Properties
Hardness 6.5-7
Streak White
Specific Gravity 3.030-3.230 Range:+/-0.03 Typical:3.180
Toughness Poor
Inclusions Kunzite is a type I clarity stone. Kunzite sometimes has growth and etch tubes, healing cracks, liquid and multi-phase inclusions.
Luster Vitreous
Fracture Uneven, Splintery
Cleavage Perfect, in two directions
Kunzite Chemistry & Crystallography
Chemical Name lithium aluminum silicate
Chemical Formula LiAlSi2O6
Crystal System Monoclinic
Chemistry Classification Silicate

Kunzite Colors

  • Pink Kunzite Pink
  • Purple Kunzite Purple

Countries of Origin

Tanzania, United Republic Of; Afghanistan; United States of America (the); Sri Lanka; Madagascar; India; Canada; Mozambique; Pakistan; Unknown; China; Namibia; Finland; Brazil; Australia; Nigeria; Ethiopia; Nepal


Kunzite was discovered in California, but it is disputed when it was discovered and by whom. What is known is that George Frederick Kunz, noted gemologist and mineralogist, verified it as a new variety of spodumene in 1902. It was voted to name the stone in honor of Kunz in 1903. Kunzite is sometimes called the evening stone since tends to fade in direct sunlight.


Gentle care. Prolonged exposure to light, especially UV and sunlight, will cause fading. The material can cleave or fracture easily. Wear with care.

More About Kunzite

It is legend that it was proposed that Kunzite be named after banker and financier J. P. Morgan, but he could not be reached for permission to name the stone after him. In 1911 Morganite was later named in his honor.

Kunzite Gemstone

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Tim Matthews


Tim Matthews

Tim Matthews is President and Chief Executive Officer of Jewelry Television® (JTV), as well as a member of the company's Board of Directors. He oversees and leads all aspects of the company's powerful omni-digital retail platform that uniquely specializes in fine jewelry and gemstones. His passion for business and gemstones has led him to become a recognized expert in the field of gemology. He is a life member of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) and has earned Gem-A's highest degrees, the Gemmology (FGA) and Diamond (DGA) diplomas. He is also a Graduate Gemologist (GG) of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and has also completed GIA's Graduate Diplomas in Diamonds, Colored Stones and Pearls. Under his leadership, JTV has become the leader in the sourcing and selling of color gemstones and jewelry.

This page was created on June 27, 2014.

This page was last edited on October 24, 2019.