KUNZITE Collectors love kunzite for its color range, from delicate pastel pink to intense violetish purple.
Kunzite is the best-known variety of the mineral spodumene. It’s named after famed gemologist George Frederick Kunz, who was the first to identify it as a unique variety of spodumene. Kunzite gets its delicate color from trace amounts of manganese. California’s San Diego County is an important source of kunzite.
BIRTHSTONES & ANNIVERSARIES
Some consider kunzite to be an alternate birthstone for February.
Kunzite is the best-known variety of spodumene. Others are green hiddenite and yellow triphane.
A “NEW” GEM
Kunzite was first recognized as a unique variety of spodumene around 1902.
The pegmatites that yield kunzite are also a source of lithium.
- 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
The following factors combine to determine a kunzite’s value.
Color is kunzite’s most important value factor. The more vivid the color, the higher the value.
Kunzite is usually very clean, so inclusions that affect its transparency can reduce the gem’s value.
Skilled cutters can bring out kunzite’s beauty despite challenges from its two cleavage directions.
It’s not unusual to find kunzite in large sizes. This is an extremely large example that
weighs 648.10 carats.