Lilac blooms fill the air with sweet scents that allure bees and butterflies to their petals. The gentle shades of rose and violet intertwine as the branches sway in the breeze, recalling the fanciful hues of Kunzite. A gemstone is deeply rooted in the American dream as gold can display intense violetish purple or intense pink at its prime. Its clarity and availability in large sizes make its pastel hues a perfect window and frame to its internal perfection.
Kunzite is the light pink to a violetish purple-hued variety of the gemstone and mineral spodumene (Lil(SiO3)2) and is colored by manganese. A gem with strong pleochroism, kunzite shows intense coloring versus lighter tones when viewed from opposing angles. This showing of different orchid colors, along with unusual cleavage planes, creates challenges to the cutting process and requires experience to bring out kunzite's best. Due to the human desire to capture saturation, kunzites are often cut with deep bellies, meaning that intense colored examples without deep bellies are priced at a premium.
Kunzite's American tale with mankind began in 1902, when George F. Kunz, Tiffany & Co.'s homegrown colored gemstone buyer and mineralogist, described samples recovered from the Pala region of Southern California. Its supply is hard to come by, with fragmented and inconsistent hauls having since been discovered in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Brazil, and Madagascar. Irradiation followed by heating has proved a route to obtaining more vibrant stones, though the process has not proven to be permanent. Some kunzites may incur a fading of their saturation when exposed to heat or long bouts of direct sunlight. To avoid the possibility of fading, Kunzite is a stone to wear in the evenings and upon nightfall.
Coming in between a 6.5 –7.0 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, Kunzite is a suitable gemstone for jewelry. Much like diamond and topaz, the bloom-like gem exhibits perfect cleavage, making earrings and necklaces less damage-prone choices for wear. Kunzite is occasionally considered to be the alternate birthstone of February and is said to be beneficial for Taurus under the Zodiac. Even though Kunzite's discovery was made just a short while ago, its impact on the gemological and mineral world is considerable.