Interesting Facts about Kunzite Stones
Kunzite Gemstone is popular as so-called Evening Gemstone. Kunzite is the trade name of of the lithium-rich, heat-sensitive, highly pleochroic pink variety of spodumene, a pyroxene species that was first described by Portuguese-Brazilian mineralogist José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva (1763-1838).
In the photos, an etched kunzite gem crystal from Dara-i-Pech, Afghanistan, photo Joe Budd © The Arkenstone, www.iRocks.com; Jean Schlumberger's Bird on a Rock brooch with an emerald-cut kunzite © Tiffany & Co
History of Kunzite
Kunzite is the pink to light violet gemstone. This is variety of Pyroxene mineral spodumene. Spodumene is a lithium aluminum inosilicate. It was first discovered in USA. Its name was given on name after George Frederick Kunz (1856 - 1932), an American mineralogist and the former vice president and buyer for Tiffany & Company. He was popular mineralogist and gemologist. He is the first person who described the Kunzite stone in 1902.
The term "Kunzite" is homage to George Frederick Kunz (1856 -1932). He was the illustrious American passionate mineralogist and gemologist. He worked lifetime for Tiffany & Co. since 1877. He described this pink variety of spodumene in 1902 at the famous Pala pegmatite in California, USA. Kunzite also occurs in pegmatite’s, namely in Brazil, Mozambique, Madagascar and Afghanistan, sometimes as beautiful collectors' mineral specimens that come, by the way, quite handy to demonstrate pleochroism to students. Kunzite usually fades away in sunlight. Because of this characteristics of Kunzite, it is given name as " evening gemstone". There is needed extra care about Kunzite stone while displaying it in windows or as a use of gemstone jewelry.
Though first discovered in USA, Kunzite major supply right now is from Brazil, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Kunzite is closely related to hiddenite, the yellow-green member of the spodumene gemstone. Yellow spodumene was discovered by American mineralogist, W.E.Hidden. Spodumene other colors are grey, green, yellow, pink, purple, blue.
Kunzite a Source of Lithium
The pegmatites that yield kunzite are also a source of lithium. Lithium s used in medicines especially medicines of anxiety. Lithium is also used in medicines, ceramics, mobile phones and automotive batteries.
Facts about Kunzite
- Mineral: Spodumene
- Chemical composition: LiAlSi2O6
- Color: Pink-violetish purple, light-intense
- Refractive index: 1.660 to 1.676
- Birefringence: 0.014 to 0.016
- Specific gravity: 3.18
- Mohs hardness: 6.5 to 7.0
Types of Crystals Structure and How Crystal are formed? Crystal and Minerals Identification Read More.......
KUNZITE BIRTHSTONES & ANNIVERSARIES
Kunzite is also considered to be an alternate birthstone for February apart from Amethyst stone.
Where Kunzite is Used?
As we have told above. Kunzite is also source of lithium to use it in medicines. Kunzite is an ornamental stone a delicate gem. It can fade away after long exposure to light Kunzite has strong cleavage and pleochroism.
Therefore, it is avoided to cut Kunzite. Most of the time, kunzite is used as pendants or as large ornamental objects. Kunzite is also used in jewelry such as rings, necklaces or other jewelry accessories. Other cutting varieties of kunzite are cabochons and beading.
Recently, kunzite has been regarded as highly desirable gemstone. Having pink to purple hue, Kunzite comes in large crystals with a small inclusions.
Locations of Kunzite
Kunzite is found in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Brazil, Madagascar, Mozambique, and the U.S. (California, and Maine).
Treatments of Kunzite
Natural kunzite comes in very light color. Therefore, Kunzite or Spodumene are heated or irradiated to enhance the color.