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!
-Afghanistan, Brazil, Madagascar
-United States: Pala district, California
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.
-Refractive Index: 1.660-1.676 (+/- 0.005)
-Birefringence: 0.014 to 0.016
-Optic Character: Doubly refractive, biaxial positive
-Specific Gravity: 3.18 (+/- 0.03)
-Hardness: 6.5 to 7
-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
Name: Kunzite is named after George F. Kunz, author and gemologist for Tiffany & Co.
Care: The ultrasonic and steam cleaner should never be used. Warm, soapy water is safe.
To see available kunzites, click here.