Spodumene: Kunzite and Hiddenite Are The Two Gem Forms


Kunzite is a pink to lavender pastel colored gemstone that is rarely seen in commercial jewelry stores. It was named for the famous gem expert G. F. Kunz.  It was first discovered in the US, but the major sources now are Brazil and Afghanistan. A beautiful green version of the stone called hiddenite is found in North Carolina near the town of Hiddenite. The green of the stone is not nearly as dark as what one would expect to see in an emerald.  Both of these gems are forms of the mineral called spodumene.

The crystal rough of this gemstone is actually very difficult stone to cut because it has a strong tendency to cleave and break apart.  It cannot be cut on a grinding wheel because of the potential for shock damage. At times, damage done to the stone during cutting may not show up for sometime.  As a result, this gem should be only worn with care, as there is a potential for growing the stone should be hit hard with a sharp object.  Because of this it probably is a bad idea to set either of the versions of this gem into a ring which is likely destined for daily wear.



While rare and not normally seen in commercial jewelry stores, both kunzite and hiddenite are fairly inexpensive. Both types have been found in the country of Brazil.  All stones purchased for jewelry or collection should be clean and flawless, as flawed stones would have an increased tendency to break. Some examples of kunzite are found in very large sizes, including rough suitable for cutting gems over 50 carats in size. Hiddenite gems are always small, stones over 10 carats are very uncommon.  Because both gems are fairly light in color, stones of at least three carats in size are more desirable, because they show the colors better.


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