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KUNZITE

Introduction:  Kunzite is a variety of the species spodumene.  Pictured above is a 57.46 ct kunzite from Afghanistan cut by Mike Gray.

Colors:  Pink to bluish-purple.  It is strongly pleochroic from purple-violet to colorless.

Clarity:  Kunzite is of Type I clarity.  By definition, gems of this type grow extremely clean in nature and usually have no eye visible inclusions.  It rarely has inclusions but liquid inclusions are sometimes seen.

Stone Sizes:  Kunzites have been cut in the thousands of carats.  Large stones are commonly seen.  It is rarely cut less than 5 carats as smaller stones do not hold body color and end up looking like a dirty ice cube!

Localities:  
-Afghanistan, Brazil, Madagascar

-United States:  Pala district, California

Treatments:  
Irradiation (R) may produce pink or deeper colors from colorless to pink material.  Kunzite’s color, including the irradiated color is susceptible to fading upon exposure to light.

Gemology:
-Refractive Index:  1.660-1.676 (+/- 0.005)

-Birefringence:  0.014 to 0.016

-Optic Character:  Doubly refractive, biaxial positive

-Dispersion:  0.017

-Specific Gravity:  3.18 (+/- 0.03)

-Hardness:  6.5 to 7

-Toughness:  poor

-Chemical Composition:  LiAlSi2O6

-Cause of Color:  Manganese

-Fluorescence:  moderate to strong pink to orange (LW), weaker (SW)

-Absorption Spectra:  not diagnostic

-Cleavage:  perfect in two directions

-Phenomena:  None

Name:  Kunzite is named after George F. Kunz, author and gemologist for Tiffany & Co.

Dates:  None

Care:  The ultrasonic and steam cleaner should never be used.  Warm, soapy water is safe.

To see available kunzites, click here.