Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Rock Review: Kunzite

With Thanksgiving just a day away, this week’s rock review will feature the stone of gratitude, Kunzite!

Geology Buzz
Kunzite is a version of the pyroxene mineral called Spodumene. It is made up of Lithium, Aluminum and Silicon compounds. It is usually pink or lavender in color due to the presence of Manganese. This is what makes it different from other types of Spodumene. The tone of Kunzite is often so light that it is frequently heat treated or irradiated to enhance its color.
Kunzite can also fade when exposed to sunlight, so it’s important to keep it stored safely when it’s not in use. It is a 6.5-7 on Moh’s scale of hardness, so it’s suitable for many types of jewelry, including rings and bracelets that may take on a bit more wear and tear during daily use.
A Kunzite stone that appears to be violet, pink or lavender from different angles can be attributed to a skilled gem cutter. When its planes are displayed well, it can take on almost an iridescent sort of look due to a trait called pleochroism.
Fun Facts
Kunzite was discovered in 1902 in San Diego county, California and named for George Kunz, who was the chief jeweler at Tiffany and Company at the time and a well known mineralogist. He was the first person to give a comprehensive description of the gem as its own variety.
Kunzite can be found in Brazil , the U.S.A, Mexico, Canada, Sweden Australia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Today, other varieties of Spodumene are used as a source of lithium for batteries, ceramics, mobile phones and medicines just to name a few.
Kunzite is said to be the stone of gratitude and is thought to bring love, joy and peace to its wearers. It bestows upon it’s wearers a sense of calm and serenity. What a perfect choice for the holiday season as we count our blessings and draw our loved ones near.

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