Pastel pink with violet modification
Moderate. Sensitive to light and
Brazil, Burma, United States
lithium aluminum silicate
is the pink, lilac or violet variety of the mineral spodumine.It
is a lithium, aluminum silicate, named after the famous
gemologist George F. Kunz, who was the first to identify
Kunzite was first found in Connecticut. But the first commercially
significant deposit was discovered in 1902 in the Pala region
of California, where morganite beryl was also first discovered.
Kunzite is often found in association with morganite and
pink tourmaline, the other popular pink gemstones. Today
most kunzite is mined in Brazil, Afghanistan, and Madagascar.
The largest faceted kunzite is an 880-carat specimen on
display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.
Although kunzite used for jewelry use is considerably smaller,
kunzite shows the best color in larger sizes. Stones should
be at least ten carats to possess the saturation required
to appear pink. Unfortunately,
most kunzite fades in sunlight, so it should ideally be
worn at night. It is a highly dichroic gem, meaning that
it appears two different colors, depending upon which direction
you view it. In one direction, it will appear pink, violet
or lilac, and in the other direction, it will appear colorless.
Therefore, it is important to cut it so that the direction
of most intense color is visible in a face up direction.
Since it has really only been known in the last century,
there is no lore and legend associated with it.