This 396.30-carat kunzite gem from Afghanistan adorns the necklace that Paloma Picasso designed in 1986 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Tiffany & Co. Kunzite gemstones are typically shades of violet and pink, caused by trace impurities of manganese. This variety of spodumene was first found in Pala, California, in 1902, and was later named after American gemologist George F. Kunz. The cushion cut kunzite is set in an 18k yellow gold and diamond ribbon motif pendant. The necklace also contains 30 South Sea baroque pearls.
Kunzite gemstones are shades of violet and pink, caused by trace impurities of manganese. This variety of spodumene was first discovered in Pala, California, in 1902, and was later named for the American gemologist George F. Kunz. Generally, the value of kunzite increases with the richness of color. Kunzite gems must be cut relatively large to show a strong body color; small stones typically appear very light pink at best. Some kunzites fade in color upon exposure to light and can turn almost colorless. Consequently kunzite is known as an "evening stone," and should not be exposed for long periods to bright light, especially sunlight. The major sources of kunzite are Brazil, Afghanistan, Madagascar, and California.