Kyanite is very rare as a faceted gem, especially if free from inclusions and flaws. The material is extremely difficult to cut because of its perfect cleavage and the extreme variability in hardness in different directions in the same crystal. A few catseye kyanites are known to exist.
The International Gem Society (IGS) has a list of businesses offering gemstone appraisal services.
|Crystallography||Triclinic. Crystals bladed, flattened and elongated; fibrous, massive.|
|Colors||Blue, blue-green, green; also white, gray, yellow, pink, nearly black. Color zoned in individual crystals.|
|Luster||Vitreous: pearly on cleavage.|
|Hardness||4-7.5; varies with direction in single crystals.|
|Density||3.53-3.68; gems usually upper end of range. Cr-kyanite = 3.67-3.70.|
|Birefringence||0.017 (Cr-kyanite up to 0.033).|
|Cleavage||Perfect 1 direction.|
|Stone Sizes||Gems have been cut up to about 20 carats: they are seldom completely clean over 5 carats, however Many of these stones are Brazilian; some are African. Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C): 10.7 (blue, Brazil): 9.1 Igreen. Brazil); 4 9 iblue, Tanzania). Private Collection: 6.57 (blue-green, North Carolina). Devonian Group (Calgary, Alberta, Canada): 14.0 (blue, Africai; 8.55 (bluish. Africa\. Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto, Ontario, Canada): 40.26, 12.38 (rectangular step-cut, Brazil.|
|Luminescence||Variable fluorescence, mostly dim red in LW.|
|Spectral||One line observed in deep red at 7100 and 2 lines in deep blue, with dark edge at about 6000.|
|Pleochroism||Pronounced: violet-blue/colorless/cobalt blue. Also pleochroic in all shades of yellow-green and green.|
Trimorphous with Andalusite, Sillimanite.
Optics: a = 1.710-1.718; β = 1.721-1.723; γ= 1.727-1.734.
Cr-kyanite: a = 1.714; β= 1.724; γ= 1.731; birefringence = 0.017; S.G.=3.67 birefringence = 0.017: S.G. = 3.67.
a = 1.720;,β= 1.730; γ= 1.753; birefringence = 0.033; S.G. = 3.70.
Biaxial ( – ), 2V= 82-83°.
Occurrence: in schists, gneiss, and granite pegmatites. Many localities are known.
Various places in the United States, especially Yancy County, North Carolina: deep blue or green crystals, up to 2 inches long, some facetable.
Verrnont; Connecticut; Virginia; Georgia; Massachusetts. Mozambique: dark blue, with Cr and Ti.
Brazil: large blue and blue-green crystals.
Machakos District, Kenya: large blue crystals, banded with green; also colorless!
Switzerland: with staurolite in schist.
Kenya: fine blue color, facetable.
Comments: Kyanite is very rare as a faceted gem, especially if free from inclusions and flaws. The material is extremely difficult to cut because of its perfect cleavage and the extreme variability in hardness in different directions in the same crystal. A few catseye kyanites are known to exist.
Name: From the Greek kyanos, meaning blue.