The colors of pastel pink and lilac are rare in the gem world and are often thought to be the most romantic of all gemstone colors. One such gemstone is kunzite.
Discovered only recently, kunzite is becoming more popular in jewelry due to its delicate beauty and feminine appeal. Let’s take a look at what makes it special, along with its unique properties and symbolic meanings.
What Is Kunzite Gemstone?
Kunzite ring with diamond halo by Chic Crafts Co. See it here.
Kunzite was named after George Frederick Kunz, an American gemologist who first identified it in 1902. A pink variety of the mineral spodumene, kunzite is made up of lithium aluminum and silicate. The name spodumene came from the Greek term spodumenos which means burnt to ashes, referencing the mineral’s most common color gray, used in industry.
Kunzite used in jewelry is of higher quality. It ranges from delicate pink to intense violet hues, with a transparent appearance and vitreous luster.
Kunzite’s pink to purple color comes from trace amounts of manganese. It’s most notable for its strong pleochroic property, in which the gemstone exhibits different shades when viewed from different angles. In the Mohs scale, kunzite has a hardness of 6.5 to 7.
Another interesting property of the gemstone is its ability to glow in the dark. As long as it’s illuminated in darkness with ultraviolet light, it’ll continue to glow. This physical property is called fluorescence. This is usually caused by specific impurities in the mineral, such as positively charged ions of certain metals, organic impurities, rare earth elements, as well as crystal structural defects.
Sometimes, its fluorescent property is used in spotting them in crushed ore or sediment, though it’s quite unpredictable, as some kunzite doesn’t glow.
Kunzite is commonly sourced from Afghanistan, Madagascar, Brazil and the United States. It’s said that some crystals from Afghanistan have a strong, rich violet color.
Kunzite pendant by Village Silversmith. See it here.
The appeal of kunzite lies in its delicate pink color, making it perfect for those who love a romantic and feminine style.
Due to this, the color of kunzite is its most important factor, so opt for the most vividly colored gemstones you can find. Darker tones with deep magenta colors are the most valuable, as well as vivid violet to purple hues. Because most kunzite is pale or faint, those stones with strong shades, saturation and intensity are considered valuable. Having said that, light and delicate pink stones are beautiful and desirable.
The gemstone is pleochroic, meaning that it displays different colors from different directions. It usually shows it most intense hue down the length of its crystal. Most of the time, its color is enhanced by irradiation and heating.
Kunzites are often transparent, with a glassy, smooth texture, but they can also come in translucent to opaque varieties.
In general, these stones have few inclusions, making them a fine and eye-clean gem for jewelry. Visible inclusions can lower the value of the gemstone.
However, some stones can display rutile inclusions. Gem cutters and designers often get creative by making these needle-like inclusions a design element in kunzite jewelry pieces.
Cut and Carat
Emerald cut kunzite ring with diamond halo by BHH Greka Jewelry. See it here.
Kunzite has perfect cleavage in two directions, making it challenging to cut and polish. This means that a hard blow, extreme pressure or drastic changes in temperatures can split the stone. Most jewelers prefer to set the gemstone in protective settings, as well as incorporate them to pieces that aren’t exposed to too much wear, like earrings, necklace pendants and brooches.
Kunzite and other spodumene gems are almost always faceted and can be found in a wide variety of shapes. Its strong pleochroism also plays a role in its cut, as gem cutters should be able to show its desirable pink color.
Step-cut stones are common, with many stones cut deep to maximize the color. Sometimes, they come in large cabochon stones, while faceted varieties are often set with diamonds to emphasize their color.
It’s said that kunzite is best seen in larger sized gemstones set in jewelry. If you want to make a statement, you can think of chandelier earrings and cocktail rings too. Even at large sizes, kunzite is reasonably priced.
On the Mohs scale of hardness, kunzite ranks 6.5 to 7, though its toughness rating is poor due to its perfect cleavage in two directions. Kunzite is dubbed the “midnight stone,” as it can’t bear the light of day. In fact, its color tends to fade with continued exposure to heat and strong light. Kunzites might be delicate beauties, but they still make a wonderful jewelry stone.
How Much Does Kunzite Cost?
Rare and beautiful gemstones generally cost a fortune. However, kunzite remains affordable. While its value is determined by its color, clarity and carat weight, compared to more popular jewelry stones, it remains relatively unknown so there’s no demand that would drive up its price. You can easily find kunzites in vivid shades of pink and purple around $60 to $190 per carat, and $20 to $60 for lighter stones.
However, fine kunzite jewelry, like this stunning kunzite halo pendant set with diamonds, can cost a fortune.
Kunzite jewelry comes in a range of jewelry styles, from classic and fine to bohemian and rustic. Here’s a look at popular styles of kunzite jewelry.
14K Rose Gold Earrings by Namata Designs. See it here.
Kunzite studs look delicate and feminine whether you want faceted stones, cabochons, or the gem in its rough form. It also looks stunning in drop earrings and chandeliers, as well as in halo designs. If you want something luxurious, think of kunzite set with diamonds. On the other hand, wire wrapped kunzite dangling earrings, as well as those in its raw crystal form, look more carefree and bohemian.
Solitaire Necklace by Cileone Jewelers. See it here.
If you have a classic style, think of a solitaire pendant that looks delicate and feminine. Some designs feature the gemstone in halo or clustered designs, surrounded by amethyst and diamonds, like this one. If you like something organic, you can also find kunzite in beaded necklaces. Most kunzite in its rough form doubles as a necklace pendant and a healing crystal, as many believe it has powerful energy.
Kunzite bead bracelet by Muko Gemstone. See it here.
In beaded bracelets, kunzite is sometimes incorporated with charms and other gemstones like agate, jade, rose quartz, howlite and amethyst. There are also cuffs and chain bracelets that look elegant. Some designs are decorated with diamond-like stones and colorful gems.
Oval Kunzite Ring by Oh My Christine. See it here.
If you’re looking for a kunzite engagement ring, opt for moderately sized center stone in a classic cut like oval, pear or emerald. You’ll easily find the gemstone in larger sizes around 7 carats, but it’ll look more of a cocktail ring than an engagement ring. If you want a style statement, go for oversized stones and exotic designs.
Meaning and Symbolism of Kunzite
Kunzite has gained many different meanings over time. Some of these are joy, peace, wisdom and good fortune. Some believe that it’s the stone of emotions, helping the wearer to be more compassionate and experience unconditional love. Many wear kunzite jewelry in hopes of strengthening relationships and promoting fidelity.
In some cultures, it’s regarded as a woman’s stone, aiding mothers in caring for their kids. It’s said that its light color brings clarity of mind and inner peace too. Many believe it has healing properties and mystical powers. If you’re looking for a lucky stone, kunzite is also thought to attract wealth and prosperity.
One of the most unique gemstones, kunzite is prized for its delicate pink and violet hues. Though it’s a relatively soft and delicate gem, it’s perfect for adding a touch of romance to your looks. Whether you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind jewelry stone or something that holds special meaning, kunzite jewelry can be the perfect gift.