Kunzite: The Delicate Pink Gemstone


Kunzite, a gemstone with a rich history, was first unearthed in the United States during the early 20th century. It was christened in honor of George Kunz, a renowned gemologist and the chief gem buyer for Tiffany & Co. While initial deposits were discovered in Connecticut, the most significant sources emerged in California’s Pala region. Kunzite often shares its habitat with other pink gemstones, such as pink tourmaline and morganite. Its enchanting pink (lilac) to purple hue is attributed to the presence of manganese. Kunzite belongs to the spodumene mineral family, which also includes green variants (hiddenite) and the signature pinkish kunzite. Cutting kunzite to maximize its color display can be challenging. Notably, the gem’s captivating pink shade can diminish when exposed to intense light or heat. This stunning gemstone is celebrated for its sizable specimens, which often showcase a deeper pink/violet hue.


Kunzite’s geographical footprint spans across various regions, including:

  • Afghanistan
  • Brazil
  • Madagascar
  • Sweden
  • Manitoba, Canada
  • United States

Properties and Enhancements

Sporting a hardness of 6.5 – 7 on the Mohs scale, it is a moderately durable gemstone. To accentuate its pink hue, the gem can undergo irradiation, though this enhanced color can fade under intense sunlight, much like its natural shade. Some kunzite specimens, initially brownish or green-violet, can be heat-treated to achieve the gem’s signature pink.

While lab-created kunzite doesn’t exist, there are simulants and cubic zirconias that mimic its hue. Various synthetic materials and glass might resemble kunzite’s color, but they differ significantly in chemical composition from the genuine gemstone.

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