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Gemstone Crystal System Density Hardness Refractive index Treatments
Kunzite
monoclinic 3.18 6.0-7.0 1.660-1.676 light will fade

 

Various examples of kunzite

Color:
Pastel pink with violet modification

Durability:
Moderate. Sensitive to light and somewhat brittle.

Localities:
Brazil, Burma, United States

Varieties of Spodumene:

Kunzite
Hiddenite
Silver Spodumene (colorless Kunzite)

This gemstone is often confused with:

Morganite
Rose Quartz
Spinel
Tourmaline
Fancy Sapphire
Glass
Plastic

 


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Kunzite
LiAl(Si2O6)
lithium aluminum silicate

Kunzite 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 it.
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.