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Facts and figures about Kunzite.



Kunzite - In the Pink:

Kunzite, the pale pink to lilac gem variety of the mineral spodumene, is named as a tribute to George Kunz, the legendary gem scholar, gemmologist, and gem buyer for Tiffany & Co at the turn of the century. The author of The Curious Lore of Precious Stones, Kunz searched the globe for old stories and legends about gems as he searched for new varieties and new deposits.


Kunzite was first found in Connecticut, USA. 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-specimen on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. Although kunzite for jewellery use is several levels of magnitude smaller, kunzite shows the best colour in larger sizes. Stones should be at least ten carats to be really in the pink.


Kunzite is relatively hard, with a hardness of seven just like quartz. However, kunzite should be handled with care because, like diamond, it has a distinct cleavage which means a sharp blow, if it lands in the wrong place, can break it in two. Kunzite should also be protected from heat and continued exposure to strong light which can gradually fade its colour.





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