Kunzite is the best-known variety of the mineral spodumene. It’s named after famed gemologist George Frederick Kunz, who was the first to identify it as a unique variety of spodumene. Kunzite gets its delicate color from trace amounts of manganese. California’s San Diego County is an important source of kunzite.
Birthstones & AnniversariesSome consider kunzite to be an alternate birthstone for February.
Kunzite is the best-known variety of spodumene. Others are green hiddenite and yellow triphane.
A “New” Gem
Kunzite was first recognized as a unique variety of spodumene around 1902.
The pegmatites that yield kunzite are also a source of lithium.
Pink-violetish purple, light-intense
1.660 to 1.676
0.014 to 0.016
- Mohs hardness: 6.5 to 7.0
There are a number of processes used to alter the color, apparent clarity, or improve the durability of gems.Learn More
Some gemstones have synthetic counterparts that have essentially the same chemical, physical, and optical properties, but are grown by man in a laboratory.Learn More
Any gem can be imitated—sometimes by manmade materials or by natural materials chosen by man to impersonate a particular gem.Learn More
Why We Love This Gemstone
In spite of its rarity and beauty, kunzite can be quite affordable because it’s relatively unknown.
Kunzite is monoclinic and its crystals often take on a blade-like shape. Its rough form is dramatic.
Kunzites are found in pegmatite deposits, often along with tourmaline, beryl, and other gems.
The following factors combine to determine a kunzite’s value.
Color is kunzite’s most important value factor. The more vivid the color, the higher the value.
Kunzite is usually very clean, so inclusions that affect its transparency can reduce the gem’s value.
Skilled cutters can bring out kunzite’s beauty despite challenges from its two cleavage directions.
It’s not unusual to find kunzite in large sizes. This is an extremely large example that
weighs 648.10 carats.
Kunzite Quality Factors: The Comprehensive Guide
Explore sources, gemological research, and the role of gems in history.