A to Z of Gemstones: K: Kunzite


Gemstone family: Spodumene

Crystal System: Monoclinic

Moh's scale of hardness: 6.5-7

Lustre: Vitreous

About: Kunzite is the best-known variety of the mineral Spodumene. It’s named after famed gemmologist George Frederick Kunz, who was the first to identify it as a unique variety of Spodumene. It was first discovered in San Diego County, California.  Kunzite gets its delicate colour from trace amounts of manganese.

Origin: Kunzite is found in Brazil, Madagascar, Myanmar and the USA.

Use in jewellery: Kunzite is generally cut as faceted stones.  It is best for use in pendants and earrings where the stone will not get knocked.

Treatments, synthetics and imitations: Kunzite is often heated or irradiated to enhance it's colour.