Kunzite is a stone for modern lovers.
Pale pink kunzite was discovered in 1902 in the Pala District of San Diego County in California. The New York jeweller and gemstone specialist George Frederick Kunz (1856 – 1932) became the first person to give a comprehensive description of this stone. And since newly discovered gemstones are usually given the name of their discoverer or patron, this new pale pink discovery was called 'kunzite'. (1)
Owing to its soft pink hues and silvery appearance, Kunzite has associations with Venus, the planet of Love. Its shades of purple are owing to the presence of manganese in its mineral structure. Worn close to the heart chakra or thyroid gland, manganese stimulates the production of thyroid hormone, which assists with wellbeing and immunity.
Above all, the appeal of this gemstone lies in its clarity and its fine delicate pink nuances which often display a hint of violet. These are delicate, tender hues, feminine and seductive. In order to make sure that the fine colour is shown to its full advantage, the cutter must align the raw crystal very precisely during his work. The reason is that depending on the angle from which you look at a kunzite, it can appear violet, pink or even colourless. In gemmology, this phenomenon is known as pleochroism, the meaning of which equates to 'multi-colouredness'. This property is particularly well developed in kunzite. As a variety of spodumen, kunzite belongs to the class of the chain silicates. It has minute traces of manganese to thank for its fine lilac colour. However, the colour can fade in direct sunlight.For that reason, jewellery with kunzite should never be worn while sunbathing or on the beach. Its hardness is fairly good, between 6.5 and 7 on the Mohs scale.
To the chagrin of the cutters, however, this gem has perfect cleavage and is thus extremely difficult to cut. Having said that, once it has been given its final shape, it becomes uncomplicated. But it is very difficult to re-cut. Cut kunzite surprises even experts again and again with its brilliance. The silvery gloss on its facets forms a beautiful contrast to the fine violet-pink of the gemstone.
For these reasons, well-cut kunzite is ideally set in a pendant so that it can be worn close to the heart
In the trade, kunzite is available in many beautiful cuts. It is one of the gems which are available in relatively large sizes at affordable prices. When making a purchase, however, you should remember that it is first the colour and then the clarity which determines its value. The more intense the colour, the more valuable the kunzite. The question of whether the colour should tend more or less strongly towards violet will depend on your personal preference and skin type.
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(1) source International Coloured Gemstone Association http://www.gemstone.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=129:sapphire&catid=1:gem-by-gem&Itemid=14
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