Rectangular-cut kurnakovite
Rectangular-cut kurnakovite

Kurnakovite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information


Kurnakovite is difficult to cut, inadvisable to wear, and usually colorless. Consequently, faceted specimens are extremely rare.

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Kurnakovite is difficult to cut, inadvisable to wear, and usually colorless. Consequently, faceted specimens are extremely rare.

Rectangular-cut kurnakovite
Rectangular radiant-cut kurnakovite, 4.36 cts, 13.5 x 9 mm, Boron, California. © The Gem Trader. Used with permission.
kurnakovite crystal
Kurnakovite crystal, collected by Robert Herod, 1988, from Boron, California. From the mineral collection of Brigham Young University, Department of Geology, Provo, Utah. Photo by Andrew Silver. Public Domain.

Comments

Kurnakovite belongs to the inderite mineral group, which includes the species also known as inderite. Inderite has a monoclinic crystal structure, while kurnakovite is its triclinic dimorph. They share the same chemistry as well as general appearance and limitations as jewelry stones. Inderites are more likely than kurnakovites to be used as jewelry stones, but only because the material is somewhat more available.

Kurnakovites have a hardness of only 2.5-3. This means some specimens could be scratched by a coin, and they can all easily be scratched by household dust (with a hardness of 7). They also have perfect cleavage, which makes them liable to split if struck on their internal cleavage plane.

If those weren't enough reasons to dissuade faceters, kurnakovites are also soluble in warm acids. Thus, wearing these stones as jewelry would be inadvisable. On the other hand, faceted or cabbed specimens would make interesting collectible items for display.

Synthetics

Scientists have synthesized kurnakovites and inderites for research purposes. However, there's no known use or demand for this material as jewelry.

Treatments

No known treatments.

Sources

Boron, Kern County, California produces crystals to 24 inches across and large masses.

Other notable sources include the following:

  • Argentina; China; Inder Lake, Kazakhstan; Turkey.
kurnakovite - Argentina
Kurnakovite crystal, 3 x 3 x 2.4 cm, Tincalayu mine, Salar del Hombre Muerto, Los Andes department, Salta Province, Argentina. Photo by Raúl Jorge Tauber Larry. Public Domain.

Stone Sizes

Kurnakovites occur in large sizes. The California material could yield stones of several hundred carats from large transparent masses or cleavages.

Care

Clean kurnakovites only with a soft brush, mild detergent, and warm water. Reserve these specimens for display. For more recommendations, consult our gemstone jewelry care guide.


Joel E. Arem, Ph.D., FGA

Dr. Joel E. Arem has more than 60 years of experience in the world of gems and minerals. After obtaining his Ph.D. in Mineralogy from Harvard University, he has published numerous books that are still among the most widely used references and guidebooks on crystals, gems and minerals in the world.

Co-founder and President of numerous organizations, Dr. Arem has enjoyed a lifelong career in mineralogy and gemology. He has been a Smithsonian scientist and Curator, a consultant to many well-known companies and institutions, and a prolific author and speaker. Although his main activities have been as a gem cutter and dealer, his focus has always been education. joelarem.com


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