Although somewhat rare, kunzite is available in large sizes at relatively low prices. Nevertheless, understanding this gem’s quality factors will benefit you on your next kunzite buying trip.

Kunzite Buying and the Four Cs

The IGS spodumene value listing has price guidelines for faceted kunzite.

Color

Kunzite’s pink to purple color arises from trace amounts of manganese in the crystal structure and is often light in tone.

Darker tones of kunzite fetch a better price, with deep magenta colors holding the highest values. Furthermore, intense violet hues are rare and will sell for a good price.

This gem is pleochroic, exhibiting different hues along each of its crystal axes. (The most intense color is visible along the C axis).

Clarity

Specimens are often free of inclusions, and faceted gems should be eye clean. However, some lapidaries choose to feature interesting inclusions in a stone.

Cut

Because of its perfect cleavage in two directions, kunzite is a challenge to cut and polish. Gems are usually cut to feature color along the C axis, often with deep cuts to improve color.

Kunzite commonly receives step cuts, but some ambitious lapidaries cut these gems into…