Kunzite was discovered in 1902 by the world famous gemmologist George Kunz. Considered to be one of the most romantic and feminine gemstones in the world, kunzite is a delicate lilac pink colour. The colour is also rather unstable and may fade, so it is not recommended to wear a kunzite for prolonged periods in direct sunlight. For this reason, kunzite is known as a “night” stone.
Kunzite is the lilac pink variety of a material called spodumene, and owes its delicate colour to traces of manganese in its chemical makeup. As spodumene crystals are characteristically thin and flattened, large faceted kunzite is quite rare and valuable. Another coloured variety is the chrome-green Hiddenite, which is also extremely rare.
As with any gemstone, kunzite quality varies from the very high to the very low. Strong coloured Kunzite is more difficult to get and tends to be more expensive as the saturation of colour increases. Pastel shades tend to be more readily available and sizes can vary from very large to small.
Kunzite is commonly heated or irradiated to enhance the natural colour of the stone.
Kunzite is a relatively modern gem so there is not much folklore surrounding it. It has been said to have a calming and uplifting energy and aligns the heart chakra.
Kunzite is a delicate gemstone, and a good deal of care must be taken when wearing and storing. Kunzite is relatively brittle with moderate hardness, and care should be taken not to knock the stone, as it may chip, particularly along facet edges and the girdle. Kunzite should never be cleaned using an ultrasonic; warm soapy water is perfect. Kunzite colour may fade, so should not be exposed to strong light for long periods of time.
Chemical Composition LiAlSi2O6(Lithium Aluminium Silicate)
Crystal System Monoclinic
Refractive Index 1.660-1.675
Specific Gravity 3.18