Kunzite

Big Photo

Brazil
260.61 carats
© Rarestone.com

Kunzite is the pink to light purple gem variety of the mineral Spodumene.

Kunzite is named after the US mineralogist G.F.Kunz, who first described this gem in 1902.

Kunzite Gemstones by Colour

This table shows the variety of hues this gemstone can be found in. Click on a photo for more information.
 
 
 
 
 

Kunzite Gemstones by Size

This table shows distribution of Kunzite gemstone sizes that are listed on this site. This can give a good indication as to the general availability of this gemstone in different sizes.
Contributed photos
Lightest:0.49 cts
Heaviest:551.65 cts
Average:25.09 cts
Total photos:73
Do you have a larger Kunzite? Why not upload a photo?
0.49ct to 55.61ct55.61ct to 110.72ct110.72ct to 165.84ct165.84ct to 220.95ct220.95ct to 276.07ct276.07ct to 331.19ct331.19ct to 386.30ct386.30ct to 441.42ct441.42ct to 496.53ct496.53ct to 551.65ct
General Information
A variety or type of:Spodumene
Chemical Formula
LiAlSi
 
2
O
 
6
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
Photos of natural/un-cut material from mindat.org
Kunzite Treatments
Irradiation of pink or purple manganese-containing kunzite produces an intense, deep green color, which fades very rapidly (1h or so) in light or on gentle heating. This change was first reported in 1909 by Meyer; Przibram and Caffyn (1956) give this and other early references. Almost any form of irradiation produces this change. Kunzite from Madagascar produces a brown color (Przibram and Caffyn, 1956), which fades extremely rapidly to the usual green color, which itself fades rapidly.
The color of heat-bleached kunzite can be restored by irradiation, which must be followed by heating or exposure to light to remove the green (and possibly brown) colors which form simultaneously.
The pink color of kunzite fades on heating to about 500°C, but can be restored by irradiation (colorless to pink) followed by heating. Here too, light has been noted to bleach the color of some kunzite, at least to some extent over extended periods of time (Sinkankas, 1963). Low temperatures, in the 100-250°C range, are used to convert a bluish or purplish pink into a lighter, clearer pink color - Nassau (1984)
Color may be improved or "created" by artificial irradiation (not detectable) -Blue Chart Gem Identification, Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, 2010, p 4
Physical Properties of Kunzite
Mohs Hardness6 to 7
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
More from other references
Specific Gravity3.15 to 3.21
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
More from other references
TenacityBrittle
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
Cleavage QualityPerfect
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
FractureUneven
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
Light SensitivitySome kunzite is light sensitive and the colour will fade over time when exposed to strong sunlight (in particular kunzite where the colour has been created/enhanced using irradiation).

Natural kunzite from Pala, California is believed to be much more stable, with some specimens left in the sun for over six months without fading.
gemdat.org management team (2012)
Optical Properties of Kunzite
Refractive Index1.657 to 1.681
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
More from other references
Optical CharacterBiaxial/+
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
Birefringence0.014 to 0.016
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
PleochroismStrong trichroism: colorless - pink - violet
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
More from other references
Dispersion0.017
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
Colour
Colour (General)Pink, violet-pink
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
Causes of ColourColoring agent is manganese.
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
TransparencyTransparent
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
LustreVitreous
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001) Vivid vitreous
Fluorescence & other light emissions
Fluorescence (General)Moderate to strong pink to orange (weaker to SW)
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
Fluorescence (Short Wave UV)Orange
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
Fluorescence (Long-Wave UV)Orange
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
Crystallography of Kunzite
Crystal SystemMonoclinic
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
More from other references
HabitPrismatic, tabular
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
Geological Environment
Where found:Deposits occur in granite pegmatite.
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
Inclusions in Kunzite
There are frequently aligned inclusions such as tubes or fractures. - Gemstones of the world, Walter Schumann, 2001, p 114
Further Information
Mineral information:Kunzite information at mindat.org
Significant Gem Localities
Afghanistan
 
  • Kunar
    • Chapa Dara District
E.Ya. Kievlenko, Geology of gems, 2003, p. 110
  • Nuristan
    • Du Ab District
      • Nilaw-Kolum pegmatite field
Bowersox and Chamberlin (1995)
Bowersox and Chamberlin (1995)
Bowersox and Chamberlin (1995)
    • Wama District (Vama District)
Bowersox and Chamberlin (1995)
Brazil
 
  • Minas Gerais
    • Água Boa
Proctor (1985)
    • Conselheiro Pena
    • Galiléia
Proctor (1985)
Proctor (1985)
Madagascar
E.Ya. Kievlenko, Geology of gems, 2003, p. 110
Sri Lanka
 
  • Sabaragamuwa Province
    • Ratnapura District
      • Ratnapura
Ceylon Aluvial Mine, (Book, Co. 2002)
USA
 
  • California
    • San Diego Co.
      • Pala District
        • Pala
          • Tourmaline Queen Mountain (Pala Mtn; Queen Mtn)
Sinkankas (1997)
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