Kunzite

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Kunzite is the pretty pink, most popular, and commercially important variety of the spodumene family, cousin to hiddenite (green spodumene) and triphane (yellow spodumene). Due to its strong pleochroism, kunzite has to be oriented particularly and cut carefully in order to achieve the deepest tone and saturation, as the stone's best color is seen when looking down the length of the crystal. Stones of 10 carats or larger display kunzite's pastel hues best, though it can be found in quite large crystals over 1,000 carats.

Kunzite Polished
Kunzite Classification
Common Name Kunzite
Species Spodumene
Kunzite Optical Properties
Transparency Transparent
Dispersion Strength: Moderate Fire Value: 0.017
Refractive Index 1.660-1.676
Birefringence 0.014-0.016
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 3.150-3.210 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; Mozambique; Pakistan; United States of America (the); Unknown; China; Brazil; Madagascar; Nigeria; Nepal; India

History

It's pretty-pink, and at its finest, it's an intense pastel and quite compelling. This most popular member of the spodumene family has strong pleochroism. That means that it changes color when viewed from different angles. To get the most out of this stone, a lapidary must be highly skilled and cut with extreme care. When well cut, this pastel gem delivers brilliant color. Kunzite is often called evening stone, because its color can fade if subjected to prolonged exposure to strong UV light. Although this is a very gradual effect, many people prefer to wear their kunzite only in the evening. Hence the nickname evening stone. This stone is named for the gemologist, George Frederick Kunz, who was the first to discover it. It made its debut in 1902, making it relatively new in the world of gemstones.

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More About Kunzite

Legend has it that this stone was scheduled to be named for a well-known financier and public figure, but when George Kunz saw it, he was enchanted. As the story goes, the on-site team was unable to reach the financier for permission to name the stone in his honor. Mr. Kunz was, therefore, forced to name it after himself.

Kunzite Gemstone

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Tim Matthews

Author

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.