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 Kunzite

 

Gemstone :
Kunzite

Kunzite is the pink gem variety of the mineral Spodumene.

Birthstone Month :
Kunzite is associated with the birthstone month of September.

Zodiac :
Kunzite is associated with the zodiac signs of Leo, Scorpio and Taurus.

Chemical Symbol :
LiAl(SiO4)2

Chemical Make-up :
Kunzite is a Lithium Aluminum Silicate. Kunzite owes its color to minute traces of Manganese.

History & Lore :
Kunzite is a relatively young gemstone. The first commercially significant deposit of Kunzite was discovered in 1902 in the Pala region of California. That same year Kunzite was named after the New York gemologist and jeweler George Frederick Kunz, as he was the first person to give a comprehensive description of the stone.

The largest faceted Kunzite is an 880 Carat stone, which is currently on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.

Kunzite is often referred to as the “evening” stone because of its sensitivity to direct sunlight and excess heat.

Kunzite is believed to help one understand and interact with others, and to enhance the wearers capacity for devotion. It is also said to be a strong stress reliever, providing liberation from anger, worry and anxiety.

Physically, Kunzite is believed to help strengthen the circulatory system and aid in the treatment of lung disorders.

 

Availability :
Kunzite is available in many beautiful cuts and relatively large sizes at affordable prices. Strongly colored Kunzites however, particularly of smaller sizes, are quite rare and will naturally be more valuable.

Sources :
Today, Kunzite deposits are mainly found in Afghanistan, Brazil, Canada, Madagascar, Sweden, and the United States. The finds in Afghanistan are particularly beautiful, displaying a deep pink color and gorgeous shades of violet.

Evaluation :
Kunzite is rated at a 6 to 7 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness and should be protected from sharp blows as it is relatively fragile. Kunzite gems are perfectly suited for pendants, brooches and earrings.

Kunzite is admired for its clarity and fine, delicate pink hues which often display a hint of violet. Darker shades of pink are considered more valuable but Kunzites are more commonly found displaying a fairly light color. The cut is crucial for Kunzites color because of its pleochromatic nature. Kunzite is trichroic, meaning it will exhibit three different colors when being viewed from different angles. Depending on the angle being viewed, the stone will appear violet, pink, or colorless, with the top of the stone revealing the deepest color.

The most important factor to consider when evaluating Kunzite is color. The more intense the color, the more valuable the stone will be. The clarity and brilliance will also have a significant effect on the value of the stone.

Common Cuts :
Kunzite is considered a true gem cutter's challenge. Firstly, for Kunzites fine color to be displayed at its full potential, the cutter must precisely align the raw crystal before commencing cutting. This is because of its pleochromatic nature. In a well cut stone, the deepest color pink color will always be visible from above. Secondy, Kunzite gems have perfect cleavage making it extremely difficult to cut.

Routine Enhancements :
Kunzite is commonly heat-treated to improve coloration, and to darken light colored stones.

Care & Cleaning :
The crystalline structure of Kunzite is quite fragile and it therefore needs to be protected from sharp blows and knocks that could cause damage to the stone. Kunzite should be kept away from prolonged exposure to excessive heat and direct sunlight as this can cause the color of the stone to fade permanently. In addition to this, Kunzite should be kept away from ultrasonic cleaners and household chemicals. Kunzite gemstones are best cleaned using room-temperature soapy water and a soft brush.

Kunzite jewelry should be stored in a fabric-lined box away from other jewelry items in order to avoid damage / scratching.

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