KUNZITE

By September 24, 2016Precious Stones
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ABOUT KUNZITE 

Hardness: 6.5-7

The colors of Kunzite are lilac, pink, green or yellow. It is a transparent stone of high luster. 

Notable occurrences are in the USA, Brazil, Australia, Afghanistan, Myanmar and Madagascar.

Kunzite was first discovered in the mines of the Pala District of San Diego, California. It was named after the gemologist G. F. Kunz who first described the pink variation at the beginning of the 20th century. 

This is a rather unusual, rare mineral with beautiful pale nuances that originate from the traces of manganese in its silicate structure. More precisely, it is a lithium aluminum silicate, and is one of the main ores of lithium. Especially powerful in the metaphysical sense are the long and flat specimens.

Kunzite is a variation of Spodumene. Usually, Kunzite is the pink or lilac colored Spodumene. It occurs in nature as a result of the process of irradiation or heat treatment of transparent specimens. Artificial irradiation or annealing is also possible to change or enhance the color of this material.

Pale pink kunzite was discovered in 1902 in the Pala District of San Diego County in California. Today, the prism-shaped crystals with their typical vertical striations are mainly found in Afghanistan, Madagascar, Brazil , USA and NIGERIA. The crystals, or fragments of crystals, often badly eaten away, can attain sizes of up to several kilogrammes.

As a variety of spodumen, kunzite belongs to the class of the chain silicates. It has minute traces of manganese to thank for its fine lilac colour. However, the colour can fade in direct sunlight. For that reason, jewellery with kunzite should never be worn while sunbathing or on the beach.

Its hardness is fairly good, between 6.5 and 7 on the Mohs scale. To the chagrin of the cutters, however, this gem has perfect cleavage and is thus extremely difficult to cut. Having said that, once it has been given its final shape, it becomes uncomplicated. But it is very difficult to re-cut. Cut kunzite surprises even experts again and again with its brilliance. The silvery gloss on its facets forms a beautiful contrast to the fine violet-pink of the gemstone.

In the trade, kunzite is available in many beautiful cuts. It is one of the gems which are available in relatively large sizes at affordable prices. When making a purchase, however, you should remember that it is first the colour and then the clarity which determines its value. The more intense the colour, the more valuable the kunzite. The question of whether the colour should tend more or less strongly towards violet will depend on your personal preference and skin type.

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