Precious stones of all kinds, are gifts of nature born in the depths of Earth. They had been hiding there for millions of years until they were finally discovered by the human hand thousands of years later. We have been seeing many of these beautiful minerals creating different jewelry styles and the truth is, they totally deserve their place in the fine-jewelry world. After all, what our craftsmanship would look like without them?
From the rich and colorful family of gemstones, there are many of them you certainly know and adore, but there are also some that are just coming under the spotlight and are still unknown for many of the jewelry enthusiasts. One such is kunzite, treasured for its unique and totally arresting light-violet color that is quickly winning the hearts of the female jewelry population.
… ABOUT ITS GROUNDBREAKING DISCOVERY…
This mineral in a form of a gemstone officially entered the jewelry world in 1902 as an innovative discovery by George Frederick Kunz, an American jeweler and gemstone specialist, also known as a passionate mineral collector. He is acknowledged as the first person who has given a comprehensive description of this precious stone, by identifying it as a new gem variety, for which the same was named in his honor.
More precisely, the kunzite gemstone is classified as the violet variety of the pyroxene mineral called ‘spodumene’, which is in fact a lithium aluminum inosilicate. Therefore, kunzite is closely related to hiddenite, a yellow-green specimen of the spodumene family, discovered and named after another American mineralogist, William Earl Hidden.
The existence of this gem, as well as the rest of the minerals from the spodumene group, are of a great importance for the global industry. Being an important source of lithium, they are primarily used in the manufacturing of medicines, mobile phones, ceramics and automotive batteries.
This wondrous mineral is composed of lithium, silicate and aluminum. Thanks to its prismatic crystal structure that results in a prominent pleochroism, kunzite can be easily identified. The most precious and remarkable property is its distinct violet or pink-hued color that cannot be seen in any other gemstone in existence. What makes it even more cherished in the jewelry craftsmanship is the fact that it features many of the characteristics of the diamond and the topaz.
When being exposed to a direct sunlight for a certain period of time, kunzite is prone to fading, which is one of the most recognizable properties of the entire spodumene family. When compared to the rest of pink-colored gemstones, kunzite is usually found in large sizes, which is surely not a characteristic common for all gemstones ‘born’ in native pink or violet shades.
The vivacious luster and exceptional hardness of this gem are similar to those of the quartz, thus making it a softer alternative than the spinel and the pink sapphire.
WHERE IT CAN BE FOUND?
The first discovery of this mineral took place in Connecticut, USA. Nowadays, the most important sources are Minas Gerais (Brazil), including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mozambique and Madagascar.
EXPLORING ITS COLOR
In most of the cases, this gemstone comes in a pale violet color that, sometimes, can be quite intense. The color spectrum of kunzite ranges from light-pink, ‘lilac’ nuances to saturated, ‘lavender’ pink nuances. Part of the reason for its specific color goes to the existence of manganese traces in this mineral. It tends to be strongly pleochroic, a feature that makes it appear in different color intensities, depending on the exact angle it has been viewed from. Usually, the top and the bottom of this gemstone show the deepest nuances of its inherent color.
THE CLARITY GRADE AND RADIANCE
One of the greatest pros of this precious gem is its transparency. In other words, kunzite features an inherent transparency that comes at an excellent level, which is one of the top-ranked properties when evaluating the gemstone’s overall value. Although very rare, cases when this gem displays small inclusions, like fractures or tubes are not an exception too. Hence, eye-clean kunzite gemstones are the most preferred ones, from both appeal and cost aspects.
And when it comes to its luster, we cannot say anything else than ‘PERFECTION’! Kunzite is known for exhibiting the so-called ‘vitreous luster’ that is most visible when the jewel comes with an extra fine, high polish.
A WORD OR TWO ABOUT THE ITS SHAPE AND CUT
The kunzite cutting can be considered a huge challenge for the cutter, due to this gem’s strongest properties, such as the distinct pleochroism, the perfect cleavage and the splintery fracture. By far, this lively and energetic gemstone has been commonly faceted with the popular emerald step-cut, which makes a very powerful combo for the making of fantastic jewelry adornments for ladies of all ages.
But, if many see no other combination to fit this divine gemstone in, we are here to break the ice and prove that it can ally with other cuts too, like the tender oval cut, for example. We have mixed up the genuine kunzite-oval-cut vibes in a delicious rose-gold setting, thus offering our customers a magnificent piece of jewelry - the Kunzite & Diamond Split Shank Ring in 14K Rose Gold. Other ‘award-winning’ shapes could be the round cut and the cushion cut, including fancy trillions and hearts.
THE BEST WAYS TO TAKE CARE OF KUNZITE JEWELRY
Although being relatively hard, this gem requires to be handled with care, due to its particular cleavage feature. For example, a strong and sharp impact may split the stone in two. Do not forget that apart from direct light, this gem is extremely sensitive to heat as well, so we suggest you to wear your kunzite jewelry mostly on evening occasions.
In terms of cleaning this type of jewelry, avoid using ultrasonic steamers and cleaners or any harsh chemicals. It would be enough to simply clean it with soapy water and a soft brush or cloth to have your jewels sparkle like new again.
Written by: Liljana Tomova