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Kunzite is the most famous and highly prized pink to lavender violet variety of the mineral spodumene. It’s named after George Frederick Kunz, the first geologist to discover and identify this mineral’s unique variety. Due to its soft pink hues, this gemstone makes for delicate and feminine jewelry and is sometimes also referred to as the Woman’s Stone.
However, kunzite was considered a collector’s stone for a long time and was rarely found in jewelry because of its perfect cleavage (which makes it fragile) and sunlight sensitivity. But, with some extra precautions and proper care, this gem makes for a stunning jewelry stone.
In this article, we’ll comb through some of the most important quality factors of this beauty to help you on your future kunzite shopping trips.
What Is Kunzite?
Kunzite is a beautiful variety of the pyroxene mineral called spodumene, comprising of lithium aluminum inosilicate. Spodumene naturally occurs in a variety of colors. And so there’s a pink to purple spodumene mineral called kunzite, the emerald-green variety is called hiddenite, and the rare yellow specimens are known as triphane.
Spodumene used to be one of the most essential lithium sources, producing high-quality and costly lithium. However, the need for refining lithium from this mineral declined in the late 1900s, when other lithium-rich deposits were developed.
Spodumene, especially its pink variety kunzite, became recognized as a gemstone-quality mineral, and its use in jewelry is still rising in popularity. The largest sources of kunzite are found in Brazil, Madagascar, Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, Russia, and southern California, where it was first discovered.
How Durable Is Kunzite?
Measuring 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, kunzite is a fairly strong gem. However, due to the strong cleavage and brittle structure, it can easily fracture. For this reason, it needs to be protected from hard blows and worn with some extra TLC.
Kunzite is also known as Evening Stone or Midnight Stone because it’s susceptible to sudden temperature changes and UV rays. If exposed to direct sunlight, the gem might fade in color and even become colorless over time. Thus, it would be best to avoid wearing kunzite jewelry during the day and keep it for more special evening occasions and events.
What Is the Color of Kunzite?
Kunzite naturally occurs as a pinkish crystal, ranging from pale pink to violet hues. It gets its pink shade from traces of manganese in the mineral. The saturation of its color will often affect its price, as with many other colored gemstones.
In most cases, this gem’s shade tends to be quite delicate, but more vivid and intense colored kunzite gems can also be found in nature. In other cases, the gem’s color is enhanced by irradiation and heat-treatment. Whether artificially enhanced or natural, kunzite’s color will fade if exposed to intense light and heat.
Some kunzite specimens might display pleochroism, showing multiple colors at the same time. One gem may exhibit both pink and lilac, or lilac and green when viewed from different angles.
It’s important to note that some traders will offer gems with names such as natural blue kunzite and natural yellow kunzite. However, kunzite only naturally occurs as a gem with pink and violet hues, and blue or yellow kunzite can’t be genuine gems. To get those colors, the gem must undergo various treatments.
What is Kunzite Clarity Like?
When it comes to opacity and texture, kunzite is usually transparent, glassy, and smooth in texture. It mostly comes with exceptional clarity with no inclusions visible to the naked eye.
However, some samples might contain some needle-like inclusions that give the gem a slightly opaque look and pearly white effect around the cleavage. Transparent or translucent, kunzite is a beautiful gem that makes for attractive jewelry pieces.
Lower quality kunzite can be opaque. These are typically used as cabochons or tumbled stones.
What Are the Best Cuts of Kunzite Gemstone?
For most cutters, kunzite is quite a challenge. Due to its perfect cleavage in two directions, it can easily split in two even under the slightest pressure. Therefore, when fashioning the gem, jewelers must be particularly careful and consider all of these properties.
Since it can easily fall apart when faceting, this cut style of kunzite is quite rare. However, it still appears in a wide array of cuts and shapes. Step-cut is one of the most common cutting methods of this gemstone. It can also be cut in a cabochon style, and if the cutter is skilled enough, the gem might even be finely faceted.
Because it’s so tough to cut a genuine gem, the size of kunzite gemstones is usually larger in comparison with other gems on the market. However, its size doesn’t play a major role in its price, and larger kunzite gems can still be reasonably affordable.
What Is the Most Common Carat Weight of Kunzite?
As we’ve already mentioned above, this gemstone is usually found in larger sizes. The pleochroism and color of this amazing stone are best displayed in 10 carat gems. This is more or less an ideal weight of kunzite, making it perfect for statement jewelry pieces.
However, you can find some jewelry items featuring smaller stones. But, generally, it’s fairly difficult to find kunzite of 3 carat or less.
What Is the Symbolic Meaning of Kunzite Stone?
The soft pastel pinks and lavender purples of the kunzite gemstone symbolize unconditional love and deep spiritual peace. It’s believed that this gemstone is connected to the heart and crown chakras, centering the wearer and calming their nerves, and enhancing creativity and self-expression at the same time.
Some suggest that this crystal also has some healing properties, strengthening the heart muscles and the circulatory system. It’s also believed that this stone can heal depression and anxiety.
Disclaimer: Jewelry Shopping Guide does not guarantee or validate any of the claims related to the metaphysical and alternative healing powers of this or any other gemstone. This information should in no way be used as a substitute for medical advice.
What Is the Kunzite Gemstone Value?
The size of the kunzite gem usually doesn’t have a massive impact on the gemstone’s value. Its price depends to a large extent on the color. As with many other colored gemstones, the richer the color, the higher the gem’s price. And so kunzite gemstones with vivid and saturated pink and violet hues that are evenly distributed throughout the stone are the most popular and the most expensive.
Of course, the stone’s value will vary from the style, clarity, and cut, but some general guidelines for kunzite pricing would be $10-30 per carat for lighter pink stones and $30-90 per carat for gems with rich pinks and deep purples.
In terms of clarity, stones that are transparent and with glossy luster are preferred by the jewelers and buyers and will typically cost more than translucent specimens.
Kunzite Gemstone in Jewelry
Kunzite can be crafted into various jewelry pieces, including earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and even rings, and its rising popularity is evident on runways and red carpets. It gives each piece a fun, frivolous, and feminine appeal, and it’s available in lovely translucent cabochons as well as attractive and luxurious clear-faceted gems.
Bear in mind that no matter what type of kunzite jewelry you opt for, make sure only to wear it in the evening or indoors, away from direct sunlight. This way, the gem will preserve its color and shine for the years to come.
Kunzite Gemstone Rings
Since kunzite is a fairly delicate gem, it’s not the best choice for engagement or wedding rings. However, if you’re looking for a statement piece for special occasions, you can’t go wrong with a beautiful oversized kunzite ring with a yellow gold setting, bringing out the warm pink hues of the emerald-cut gem. If you’re a fan of a more rustic and vintage appeal, try out this stunning sterling silver kunzite ring with a lovely and soft translucent gem in a cabochon cut.
Kunzite Gemstone Earrings
Kunzite looks wonderful in both drop and stud design earrings. You can play with different cuts and designs to match your taste and style, and choose these earrings with faceted kunzite in unique boho style, or for a more elegant and luxurious look, get these kunzite drop earrings.
Kunzite Gemstone Necklaces and Bracelets
If you’re a fan of artisan jewelry that features gems in its rough form, kunzite would be an ideal choice for such a piece, perfectly showcased in this boho-style necklace with raw kunzite wrapped in copper wire. Kunzite looks stunning when combined with other precious pastel-colored gems set in classic beaded style bracelets, as in this kunzite bracelet with calming pink, violet, and blue hues.
How to Care for Kunzite Jewelry?
You should treat your fragile and delicate kunzite jewelry with special love and care. Even though it’s a relatively hard stone, measuring up to 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, kunzite can fracture, split, and scratch very easily, and its color can significantly fade over time. For this reason, wearing, cleaning, and even storing kunzite jewelry will require some extra attention.
- Wearing: As we already mentioned above, kunzite is also known as Evening Stone, and for a reason. This gem is particularly sensitive to sunlight, and to avoid bleaching of its color, keep your stone away from direct exposure to sunlight. Besides, since it’s highly breakable, avoid wearing kunzite rings or bracelets during sports or other manual heavy activities.
- Cleaning: Be gentle when cleaning kunzite jewelry and avoid using harsh soaps and detergents. You should also never use ultrasonic cleaner or steam cleaner, as these can easily damage the stone.
- Storing: Once you take it off, make sure your kunzite jewelry isn’t exposed to direct light or heat source. Store it in a dark and cool place in its own soft pouch separate from other jewelry. If you travel with it, keep it cushioned in a harder case to absorb any harsh impacts and drops.
To Wrap Up
Kunzite is a magnificent gem. With its soft pink and violet hues, it adds a touch of femininity and romance to every jewelry piece. Whether you opt for a more subtle stone or a statement piece, kunzite gemstone will perfectly accessorize any outfit and style. It’s certainly a great addition to your jewelry collection, but it can also be a beautiful gift for a wife, girlfriend, daughter, or mother.