|Name Origin:||From Frederick Kunz, a New York jeweller who first comprehensively described the stone.|
|Colour:||Pink and violet|
|Family:||Spodumene (and a distant cousin of jade)|
|Hardness:||6.5 to 7 out of 10 on the Mohs Scale|
|Found in:||USA, Afghanistan, Madagascar, Brazil|
IN THE PINK
Kunzite is a good example of a relatively ‘new’ gemstone – that is to say it was not discovered until 1902, in California as a pale pink colour. The family it belongs to can be found in large quantities, making large weights possible – however gemstone quality vivid colours are extremely rare (and valuable).
Also referred to as a ‘healing stone’, Kunzite is said to enhance a person's capacity for devotion and inner peace. It can be an excellent gemstone for those suffering from strain, stress or even exam nerves. The subtle pink and violet hues induce serenity, keeping moods of depression and anxiety at bay.
Due to its delicate, feminine colour and the beautiful cuts available today, kunzite enjoys popularity in all types of jewellery (preferred over pink tourmaline when many carats are required). It also displays mild colour-change properties, when viewed in different lights. These nuances are a signature of this affordable and pretty gem.
Manganese gives kunzite its fine lilac colour. However, this can fade in direct sunlight, so we strongly recommend jewellery with kunzite not be worn while sunbathing or on the beach. Keep it clean using a soft cloth and gentle washing with warm soapy water.
Despite its average hardness, kunzite surprises by being extremely difficult to cut (due to its surface composition, or cleavage). Once cut however, the natural ‘silver lining’ on its facets are truly spectacular.
Some kunzites are heat-treated to improve their colour. Choosing pink or violet will depend simply on preference. As with almost every gem in existence (except the diamond) the usual rule applies: the stronger the colour, the more valuable.
The Russian Palmette tiara worn by the Duchess of Gloucester includes a fine example of Kunzite as its centre stone. President JF Kennedy had purchased a 47 carat Kunzite ring for his wife, but was killed before he could gift it to her.