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>> Group(s) : silicates, spodumenes
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It is a variety of spodumene, which is named after the American mineralogist and gemologist G. E. Kunz who analyzed it first, in 1902.
The kunzite has a unique color due to manganese : pink purple more or less intense depending on the crystal orientation and the presence of manganese.
It was noted recently that "green spodumenes" from Afghanistan, previously called "Hiddenite" (variety of green chromian spodumene), became pink after a few days of sun exposure ... in fact they were kunzites that after "heat treatment" or irradiation became green, but did not contain chromium, and lost their green color under the light.
Spodumene, whose name comes from the Greek, it means "color of ashes", because it is often gray, presents the phenomenon of phosphorescence, it glaws in the dark after being exposed to ultra-viotets or natural light.
The yellow or colorless variety of spodumene is called triphane.
The green chromian variety of spodumene is the Hiddenite (see hiddenite).

Exploited sites

It is found mainly in Brazil, in Afghanistan especially in the Kunar Valley in the Patroke mine that produces, since 2007, kunzites of a deep pink color, in Burma, in USA, in Madagascar, in Pakistan, in Brazil.

See pictures of the mines / other pictures

Use in jewelry

In jewelry, the table is cut perpendicular to the axis of the crystal to enhance its color. Often the cut stones have a significant breech to improve the color.
Avoid the sun exposure because it can wash out. Depending on their origin, some kunzites very quickly lose their color, while others preserve it. It was often confused with amethyst because of its hardness and pink color

Daily care and precautions

Not sensitive to acids and household products, but very sensitive to shocks because of its easy cleavage.

Looking alike stones

amethyst , beryl , petalite , sapphire , scapolite , spinel , topaz , tourmaline

Historical healing properties

It is a stone evoking tenderness and shy purity, which would stimulate the mind during sleep, causing amorous dreams. It would rebalance the mind, alleviate emotions during a bereavement, a mourni (Heart chakra). It should be given to unruly children. It is a stone that accumulates little negative energies.

Imitations and treatments

It can be confused with rose colored gems such as : pink rose quartz, rubellite, pink sapphire. It can be imitated with colored lenses, doublets, corundum or synthetic spinel.
The heating to 150 ° C, improves its brownish color and green purple color.

Historical stones and related legends

In Asia and North-east Europe it is used since the sixteenth century as a gemstone and as a protective talisman symbol of rebirth.

Chemical characteristics

lithium aluminum silicate

Physical characteristics

Main color : pink

Other colors : colourless, yellow, purple

due to manganese: pink lilac can fade in light over time

Color of streak : white

Luster : vitreous

Hardness : 6.5 to 7.0

Density : 3.15 to 3.20

Cleavage : perfect

Fracture : conchoidal, uneven

fragile due to its easy cleavage

Optical properties

Transparency : transparent

Refractive Index : 1.660 - 1.680

Double refraction : 0.014

Weak, biaxial (+)

visible double refraction : no

Dispersion : 0.017 (0.010)

Pleochroism : definite

Number of colors : 3

Purple, pink, colorless

Not significant for the pink, band at 435 for the yellow

Fluorescence : strong

Yellow to orange, pink

Inclusions : few inclusions, some crystal cavities elongated arrow-shaped, liquid inclusions in veils


Irregular tabular prismatic


Crystal system : monoclinic

Other informations

Astrological sign : Gemini, Capricorn

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