Kunzite stone

By Yves Lemay Jun 23, 20

Kunzite stone

Chemistry: LiAl(SiO3)2


Crystallography: Monoclinic


Refractive index: 1.66-1.68


Hardness: 6 to 7


Specific gravity: 3.17-3.21


Cleavage: Perfect


Heat sensitive: Yes


Wearability: Good


Special care instructions: Avoid long exposure to sunlight and high temperature


Enhancements: Heat treatment


Kunzite is a variety of spodumene, which is a fairly common mineral, but the clear, pale pink to lilac ( and sometimes blue, green or yellow) colored form of it is much more rare to come by.


It was first found in California in 1902, and is named after the famous mineralogist George F. Kunz who first identified it. 


Though it wasn't until the 1990's that this gemstone became a more mainstream gemstone, having been used only as a collectors gemstone prior to that time.


Kunzite is known for its strong pleochroism showing light or intense coloring in different directions. 


For this reason, it is always cut to show the deepest pink color through the table of the stone. 


As for most other gemstones, the deeper, darker, and more saturated colors of kunzite are considered to be the most valuable.


Kunzite stone yves lemay jewelry

Most kunzite, in its natural form, is very light in color. 


It is commonly heat-treated to intensify its color and remove brownish tones.


Kunzite may fade when regularly exposed to light, thus being called a "photochromic" mineral. 


Some deep pink stones have turned nearly colorless from fading. 


Although the color-fading effect is not this drastic in most kunzite, it is still important not to expose kunzite gems to strong light (especially sunlight) for long periods. 


It is sometimes called "evening stone" for this reason. 


The color of some kunzite can be restored or intensified by irradiation.  


It will display intense color variations and color differences when viewed from the top and bottom. 


It can even display multiple colors or appear colorless.


Notoriously known for its brittleness due to its perfect cleavage, these gems can represent a challenge for stone cutters. 


Even though it has a decent hardness of 6 to 7, caution is advised when wearing kunzite adorned jewels, as sharp impacts can easily chip them.


Kunzite stone yves lemay jewelry

Kunzite is trichroic, which means that three colors can be viewed from differing angles: pink, clear, and violet. 


Sometimes the color change is limited to shade changes, such as from pale pink to dark pink. 


However, when speaking of color changing gemstones, the ability to change color depends on the type of light. 


A gemstone might look green in sunlight, but red in incandescent lighting. 


Not quite the same thing, as pleochroism, which involves the same light, but different angles. 


In conclusion: Kunzite is not a color-changing gemstone.


Kunzite stone yves lemay jewelry
Kunzite stone yves lemay jewelry

Thanks for reading, and please feel free to share this article with your contacts!

The GIA colored stone grading system
The beautiful color of a gemstone is its most defining characteristic, and many jewelers consider it to be the most...
How to appreciate the quality of jewelry (before you buy)
When it comes to appreciating the quality of a piece of jewelry, there are three major things you must look for: -Base...
Everything that you need to know about jewelry metals
If I say the word "ring," the first image that will come to mind for most people will be yellow-colored....
The 4 types of pearls that you need to know before purchase
There are two major types of cultured pearls; freshwater and saltwater pearls. Freshwater pearls primarily come from China.Saltwater pearls, which include...
The 6 cultured pearls quality factors
There are 6 main factors to keep in mind when determining a pearl's quality and worth: Nacre, Luster, Surface, Shape,...
How pearls are made
Pearls are unique among gemstones, being the only ones found within a living creature and the only ones that require...

Leave a Comment