Kunzite gemstones are normally pink (lilac) to purple in colour. Kunzite is of the spodumene variety. The colour of Kunzit
e is derived from manganese. Some Kunzite is irradiated to intensify its colour.
Surprisingly Kunzite was discovered in the United States, early in the twentieth century. Even its name has American roots: this pink gem variety of the mineral spodumene is named in tribute to George Kunz, the legendary gem scholar, gemmologist, and gem buyer for Tiffany & Co at the turn of the century.
Today most kunzite is mined in Brazil, Afghanistan, and Madagascar. Kunzite is often found in association with morganite and pink tourmaline, the other popular pink gemstones.
Kunzite is relatively hard, with a hardness of 7 just like quartz on the Mohs hardness scale. However, kunzite should be handled with care because, like diamond, it has a distinct cleavage. A sharp blow, if it lands in the wrong place, can break it in two. Kunzite should also be protected from heat and continued exposure to strong light, which may gradually fade its colour.
You can clean kunzite with mild dish soap: use a very soft toothbrush to scrub behind the stone where dust can collect.
Topaz is the birthstone for the month of December.
The colour of blue topaz is pale to medium sky blue, but can appear vibrant blue if irradiated. Topaz, and especially blue topaz, has grown in popularity over the years. The "pure" topaz colour is yellow, and was often confused with chrysolite, the yellow variety of peridot. However, the use of distinct colours has helped topaz come into its own. Blue topaz in particular is popular in jewellery today. It has a watery blue similar to aquamarine, but often without the green overtones, and its hardness and good clarity make it an excellent gem. The blue colour is often enhanced through heat-treatment and irradiation.
Topaz is a very hard gemstone with a Mohs hardness of 8, but it can be split with a single blow: a trait it shares with diamond. As a result it should be protected from hard knocks.
You can clean blue topaz with mild dish soap: use a very soft toothbrush to scrub behind the stone where dust can collect.
Lemon and Smoky Quartz
Quartz is one of the most versatile gemstones on earth. Many people do not know that some of the most popular gems such as citrine, amethyst, onyx and chalcedony are varieties of quartz.
Quartz has a long history in the gem and jewellery world. The word “quartz” comes from the Greek word krustallos, meaning ice, because it was believed that quartz was ice formed by the gods. Throughout history varieties of quartz have been used in place of the more expensive gems like yellow sapphire, yellow diamond and even jade.
Light citrus shaded quartz, called lemon quartz is a very sunny and bright stone. It is very fashionable and coordinates well with pastel colours and stones such as blue topaz and peridot.
Smoky quartz has a rich brown colour and as a neautral can go with anything.
Lemon and smoky quartz are a sister stone to amethyst, citrine and rose quartz. They are relatively hard with a Mohs hardness rating of 7.
Since most quartz have been heated to enhance their colour, the stones should be kept away from prolonged exposure to strong light or heat.
You can clean quartz with mild dish soap: use a very soft toothbrush to scrub behind the stone where dust can collect.