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Spodumene (variety: Kunzite)

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.

Image Number: 96-30163
Catalog Number: G3940
Weight: 880 carats
Exchange , 1964


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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Mineral Sciences website Credits