Brazilian Kunzite are scarce, pastel pink gemstones from the famous Urucum Mine (pronounced: Ooo-roo-coom). Situated in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais (General Mines), an esteemed locale renowned internationally for its fine gemstones, our exceptional Brazilian Kunzite represents the top two percent of total mine production. Undeniably rare and wonderfully wearable with a colorful brilliance that surprises even experts, Brazilian Kunzite’s romantic, feminine hues define this prized jewelry gemstone’s breathtaking beauty.
Hardness 6.5 – 7
Refractive Index 1.660 – 1.681
Relative Density 3.15 – 3.21
Brazilian Kunzite’s beauty emanates from its fine pastel pinks, excellent brilliance, high-transparency, and attractive glassy (vitreous) luster.
Dependent on expert cutting, Brazilian Kunzite is always challenging for the lapidary. Strongly pleochroic (colors and their intensity change when viewed from different angles) with perfect cleavage (produces smooth, lustrous surfaces with great ease), if the raw crystal is not orientated and cut in precisely the correct direction, the best color will not be displayed. Brazilian Kunzite is optimally faceted by experienced lapidaries, who carefully orientate each crystal to maximize its colorful brilliance, maintaining an eye-clean clarity (the highest quality clarity grade for colored gemstones, as determined by the world’s leading gemological laboratories), high-polish/luster, and attractive overall appearance (outline, profile and proportions).
Also known as the ‘evening gemstone’, Brazilian Kunzite loves the night life due to its phosphorescence (glowing in low light conditions after exposure to sunlight), and its ability to retain brilliance in any lighting.
Kunzite is the very rare pastel pink to rich orchid variety of the mineral Spodumene, named from the Greek ‘spodumenos’, which means ‘burnt to ashes’, in reference to its typical light grays. Spodumenes’ most famous gemstone, Kunzite was discovered in California around 1902, and was named in honor of George Frederick Kunz (1856 – 1932), the famous gemologist credited with its identification. A legendary gem adventurer, Mr. Kunz was self-taught from books and practical research, collecting 4,000 mineral specimens while still in his teens. Author of numerous publications still readily available today, Mr. Kunz was employed as the resident gem expert at Tiffany & Co., becoming their vice president by the age of 23. Spodumene’s emerald-green/pastel-green/yellowish-green variety, Hiddenite was discovered in 1879, being named in 1881 by prominent chemist and mineralogist, Joseph Lawrence Smith (1818 – 1883), for exploration geologist, mineralogist and mining engineer, William Earl Hidden (1853 – 1918). Spodumene’s other color variants are technically called ‘[Color Prefix] Spodumene’. Frequently intensified using permanent enhancements, Spodumene’s colors are due to trace elements of iron (yellow to green), chromium (medium to deep green), and manganese (pink to purplish-red).
While Spodumene is a relatively common mineral, transparent gemmy-crystals only occur at a handful of deposits globally. Kunzite is exceedingly scarce with scant production from countries including, Afghanistan, Brazil, Madagascar, and Pakistan.
Discovered in 1962, the Urucum Mine works a granite pegmatite (coarsely crystalline igneous rock), located in Galiléia near Conselheiro Pena, approximately two hours’ drive from internationally acclaimed gemstone mining, lapidary, processing, and trading hub of Governador Valadares. Commencing major production in the mid-70s, the claim briefly closed in March 2014. While mining has since recommenced, it continues to be plagued by scant, sporadic production.
While many amazing gemstones and minerals have been unearthed at Urucum since its discovery, around 2001 an unbelievable pocket was found that had over a dozen, huge Quartz crystals up to 3 meters tall, weighing up to 6 tons. The bottom of the pocket yielded some of the finest Kunzites the mine has ever produced, with its entirety also covered with hundreds of Tourmalines.
Durability & Care
Brazilian Kunzite is an excellent jewelry gemstone (Mohs’ Hardness: 6.5 – 7), well-suited to everyday wear. Always store Brazilian Kunzite carefully to avoid scuffs and scratches. Clean with gentle soap and lukewarm water, scrubbing behind the gem with a very soft toothbrush as necessary. After cleaning, pat dry with a soft towel or chamois cloth.