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Kunzite crystal

The gems of September are lapis lazuli and blue sapphire, but many people believe that other gems belong to September group, one of them is kunzite.

Kunzite is a pink to lilac colored gemstone, a variety of spodumene. It's one of the "young" gemstones; kunzite was discovered in 1902 in the Pala District of San Diego County in California, and was named after George Frederick Kunz, Tiffany & Co's chief jeweler at the time, and a noted mineralogist.

Spodumene crystals
click to enlarge

Kunzite with delicate pink hues is seen more and more often nowadays, making an attractive eye-catcher in jewelry. Some (but not all) kunzite used for gemstones has been heated to enhance its color. It is also frequently irradiated to enhance the color. Many kunzites fade when exposed to sunlight.

In the trade, kunzite is available in many beautiful cuts. It is one of the gems, which are available in relatively large sizes at affordable prices. When making a purchase, however, you should remember that it is first the color and then the clarity that determines its value.

The more intense the color, the more valuable the kunzite. The question of whether the color should tend more or less strongly towards violet will depend on your personal preference and skin type. Originally found in the USA, today the main sources of pink kunzite are in Brazil, USA, Canada, CIS, Mexico, Sweden, Western Australia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The crystals, or fragments of crystals, can attain sizes of up to several kilogram.

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