In 1903, kunzite was discovered in the Pala District of San Diego County, California. See this link for a fascinating history of the gem’s discovery and naming, as well as some great photographs of the original finds. Read a synopsis below and check out the images shown here from inspiring jewelry artisans on Etsy who use Kunzite in their work. [To the right is karensugarmandesigns' gorgeous kunzite and tourmaline necklace; just below to the left are some sweet little kunzite pendants from Hulamoonjewelry]
The mysterious gem was described at the time as an unidentified pink crystal, and sent to George Frederick Kunz, Tiffany & Company’s mineralogist. Kunz was a legendary jeweler, having also served as a vice president and buyer for Tiffany and Co., and had particular expertise in colored stones. He confirmed that in fact, the crystals were “Spodumene”, a lithium aluminum inosilicate. But it had never been found in this color, and thus it was proclaimed a new variety of the mineral.
This beautiful gem has come to be quite popular and desirable. Ranging in beautiful shades of pink and violet, it is difficult to cut because it has two cleavage directions. But once finished, it has a magnificent showing.
In the years since, kunzite has proven to be a highly desirable gem. Occurring in attractive shades of pink to violet, kunzite crystals are also often large, with relatively few inclusions. Though difficult to cut due to its two cleavage directions, it lends itself to lovely finished gems that show magnificently in fine jewelry.
In 1996, a 47-carat kunzite ring sold for over $410,000 at a Sotheby’s auction of the Estate of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Sadly, President Kennedy had purchased it as a gift for her, but never had the chance to give it to her.
Today most Kunzite is found in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Some say it is a protective stone, dispelling negativity and raising a shield around the aura against unwanted threats and influences. It is also is described as a ‘Celestial Doorway’, breaking through the barriers of time into the infinite – a stone to be used with those who are dying, to let the departing soul what it needs to ease the transition into enlightenment.
[At the right is a kunzite crystal necklace from CrazyAssJD; at the left is George Frederick Kunz, mentioned above.]
Whether you believe in such spiritual ‘powers’ or not, it is undeniably beautiful. Check out the images shown here of George Frederick Kunz and from inspiring jewelry artisans on Etsy who use kunzite in their work.
If you have experience working with kunzite or any crystal jewelry, please tell us about it via the comment section below.
Until Next Time,