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If you appreciate beautiful and unique gemstones, unakite should definitely be on your list. This gemstone is affordable, easily available and when crafted expertly, makes for eye-catching jewelry.
Unakite isn’t a mainstream gemstone and is not typically well-known by those outside of the jewelry industry.
In this article, we’ve got you covered as we outline everything you need to know to buy unakite jewelry.
What is a Unakite?
Unakite, also known as unakite jasper, is a type of altered granite with a green and pink color scheme, resulting from the combination of green epidote and pink orthoclase feldspar, as well as colorless quartz.
Unakite is native to the U.S. and its name comes from the Unakas Mountains in North Carolina. As a type of granite, unakite is not a precious gemstone but when it’s of a good enough quality it can be considered a semiprecious stone.
Such unakite can take a good polish and easily be cut into beads, cabochons or other lapidary work such as eggs, spheres, statuettes and figurines.
There is no standard for which combination of unakite colors is better. A unakite piece can include more pink than usual or be almost homogenously green, but in general the green is usually dominant.
What matters is that the end result looks good, is polished adequately, and fits into the type of jewelry or ornamentation it was made for.
Beautiful greenish-pinkish unakite ring. See it here.
Usually, an equal combination of beautiful green and pink patterns is sought after as it can enhance the look of even a simple cabochon. That’s why some cutters spend time on the unakite to find the best possible way to cut it and accent the gorgeous patterns the stone can form.
Unakite is a completely opaque colored stone and transparency or clarity aren’t relevant when evaluating the stone. Unique and beautiful shapes of these inclusions is often what’s looked for in a unakite stone as it can make for even more beautiful cabochons or figurines.
Unakite Cut and Carat Sizes
As a type of granite, unakite isn’t hard to cut into desired shapes. These stones are typically free form in shape, but are also found as cabochons, beads, and spheres. Most unakite is unfaceted, instead left smooth and lustrous.
Unakite is found in large chunks that can weigh many pounds which is then broken down into smaller cuts. Most pieces usually weigh around 5 carats with beads and cabochons being cut relatively small as well.
Unakite in Jewelry
Unakite is a beautiful gemstone when crafted into jewelry. Designers often utilize unakite’s unique color combination for eye-catching jewelry that elevates the value of the stone and makes it a great addition to any jewelry collection.
Unakite inlays make for a striking color contrast with metal or wood. We particularly loved the example below, which highlights the green and pink of unakite in a bamboo setting.
Unakite and wood wedding ring. See it here.
You’ll typically find unakite in boho or hippie style jewelry, as beads or cabochons paired with silver or cord. These are ideal for casual everyday jewelry.
Wire-wrapped unakite ring. See it here.
Because the patterns on unakite are unique, each jewelry design will be different from the other. In this way, every piece of unakite jewelry is truly one of a kind.
Cleaning and Caring for Unakite Jewelry
Unakite has an average hardness rating of 6 to 7 on the Mohs scale so it can be scratched by other harder gemstones and materials. Therefore, storing unakite jewelry together with such materials is ill-advised. Instead, try and keep it in a separate container or at least wrap it up in a piece of cloth for extra protection.
As for washing and cleaning unakite jewelry, warm soapy water can usually do the trick, together with a soft cloth. Avoid toxic domestic detergents as they can damage the stone. It’s best to take off unakite jewelry when engaging in vigorous activities like swimming, gardening or playing sports.
Enhanced or Imitation Unakite
Unakite stones and all epidotes in general, aren’t generally enhanced or treated aside from polishing. Heating doesn’t promote the appearance of unakite, so this treatment isn’t carried out on the gemstoen.
As for imitations, there aren’t any known imitations of unakite, and as the stone isn’t expensive, there isn’t any reason for jewelers to look for imitations to try and scam you with.
Unakite Meaning and Symbolism
Unakite is believed to be the ultimate stone for living out the spirit of carpe diem. It’s viewed as a stone that inspires positivity, openness, and stress-release.
Unakite is also nicknamed living in the now. That effect is thought to come from unakite’s ability to inspire urgency in its owner – to help them realize that time is slipping through their fingers and they must seize the moment they are in.
The unique natural combination of green and pink likely inspires people to go outside and seek adventures in the open, away from the concrete jungle they live their lives in. Whether unakite actually has some mystical powers that can affect our psyche or it’s just a pretty and inspiring stone to look at and own, it’s certainly a gorgeous inclusion to any collection.
*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.
Where to Buy Unakite Jewelry
Unakite jewelry is easy to find and generally very affordable. You can find most unakite jewelry under a hundred dollars. You should be able to find unakite jewelry and loose stones in shops that specialise in gemstones and crystals.