August 2019 Newsletter: Rare Magenta Kunzite


Kunzite, the pink form of the mineral spodumene, is a gemstone with a uniquely American pedigree, even though most of the fine Kunzite in the market now comes from Pakistan and Afghanistan, rather than America.
Gem-quality Kunzite was first discovered in the USA in 1902 at the Pala mine in San Diego county, and identified by George Frederick Kunz, who was chief gemologist at Tiffany & Co. Kunzite was named in his honor.
Kunzite was not a well known gem in the jewelry world. But its profile was raised considerably by the auction in 1996 of a Kunzite and diamond ring from the estate of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. President John F. Kennedy had purchased the ring for his wife as a Christmas gift in 1963, shortly before he was tragically assassinated in November in Dallas. The 47 carat Kunzite ring eventually sold for $415,000 at a Sotheby's auction.
The chief attraction of Kunzite is color, size and cost -- it is the most affordable of all the pink gemstones in large sizes. And Kunzite gems can be very large: stones over 10 carats are common, and gems over 20 carats are not unusual.
Kunzite has reasonably good hardness (6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale) and an attractive vitreous luster. High quality Kunzite has very good to excellent clarity, and most specimens will be eye clean to loupe clean.
Kunzite Colors
Colors of Natural Kunzite
The distinctive color of Kunzite derives from traces of manganese. The color is typically pale to pastel, though occasionally more saturated pinks are found. Some Kunzite in the market has had its color improved by heating or irradiation. Untreated stones with good color saturation are the most valuable.
Though most of the Kunzite you will see is a pastel pink or lilac, we occasionally find unusually saturated material that goes beyond pink to to colors that can be described as magenta or fuschia. We currently have two outstanding gems in this rare color, a 27.02 ct [SOLD] and a 29.30 ct (featured in our Notable Gems below).



Notable Gems from the AJS Collection

This month we feature very large gems from our collection, from 20 cts all the way up to 70 cts. Click on any photo to view the details for the gem.

29.30 ct Magenta Kunzite from Afghanistan
29.30 ct Magenta Kunzite from Afghanistan  [SOLD]
An impressively large Kunzite from Afghanistan with intense color saturation! This 29 ct Kunzite square cushion displays a vivid magenta or fuchsia hue that is rare in Kunzite (and indeed in any gem). Very clean and expertly fashioned in a portuguese cut for maximum brilliance. This is a rare collector's gem that will be an important addition to your collection. Guaranteed natural and untreated.

70.52 ct Chrysoprase from Australia

A huge Chrysoprase pear from Australia, over 70 carats! Vivid apple-green color with excellent consistency, this impressive gem displays very good translucency with a distinctive glow. Guaranteed natural and untreated.

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33.27 ct Amethyst from Brazil

An outstanding Amethyst trillion in a very large size! This is excellent clean material with a bright open color and impressive fire. This fine Amethyst will make a unique pendant that will sure to be noticed, at a very affordable price. Guaranteed natural and untreated.

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29.24 ct Scapolite from Tanzania

A gorgeous large gem Scapolite from Tanzania in a deep golden hue! Completely clean, this fine material has been precision cut to produce a dazzling gem with superb luster. This will set up beautifully in a cocktail ring or pendant, or as a fine addition to your gem collection. Guaranteed natural and untreated.

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21.67 ct Aquamarine from Brazil

A very fine 21 carat Aquamarine in a deep saturated blue! This is beautifully clean material with exceptional color that has been expertly fashioned in an elegant cushion. A top Aquamarine for your collection. Guaranteed natural and untreated.

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20.95 ct Rubellite Tourmaline from Nigeria

A very rare Red Rubellite Tourmaline over 20 carats! This impressive gem has outstanding color and full fire, and has been custom cut from an old stockpile of top Nigerian rough into an elegant square cushion cut. Clean Rubellites in a pure red are extremely rare in this size. This is a wonderful stone for the rare gem collector. Guaranteed natural and untreated.

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News from AJS and the Gems World

A Stunning 3.21 ct Burma Spinel

This rare Burma Spinel is one of the most special gems in our collection. The color is a luscious pinkish-purple, with intense saturation. The crystal is very fine, with superb transparency, and this excellent material has been beautifully cut in a unique fancy shape that makes it extra special. An exceptional gemstone for the Spinel connoisseur. Guaranteed natural and untreated.



Ask the Gem Experts

Each month we answer questions from our customers. We welcome your questions and you can submit a question from our contact page.

I love Jade and am interested in acquiring a high quality Jade for a ring. Can you explain the difference between "A" Jade and "B" Jade? DS, UK

The terms "A Jade" and "B Jade" originated in Asia but are now used around the world. "A Jade" refers to Jadeite that is completely untreated while "B Jade" indicates Jadeite that has been bleached with acid and then impregnated with polymer resins. There is also a "C Jade" which refers to Jadeite which has been dyed. Serious collectors look for "A Jade" which has been certified as such by a reputable gemological lab.


I really liked the blue zircons in your newsletter, beautiful photos. I was wondering how these stones compare to blue topaz. Which is the better gem? JT, Canada

Natural Zircon and Topaz are similar in hardness, with Zircon at 7.5 and Topaz at 8.0. Topaz has perfect cleavage while Zircon has indistinct cleavage. But where blue Zircon is a rare gem, rarely found in the commercial market, Topaz is a very common stone and used extensively in cheap commercial jewelry. All of the blue Topaz in the market is treated with radiation and then heated. The more saturated blue Topaz colors, sometimes called "swiss blue" and "london blue," are irradiated in nuclear reactors and must be held from distribution until they are no longer radioactive. The only treatment for blue Zircon is low temperature heating. Blue Zircon also has a higher refractive index and considerably more sparkle. So it's fair to say that Blue Zircon is the finer gem by far.


All the best in gems,

Ron, May & and Rung