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Gemstone ID question


#1

I have a question for you. I recently purchased a gemstone and am in
a quandry of just what exactly it could be. The seller admitted that
it was one of many that were purchased at an auction in which a
jewelry store that had closed after many years(100) was selling it’s
equipment, and surplus. This stone was one of a group of stones that
were found in a vault in the back of the store, and was labeled
"Kunzite, Oval faceted, 2.5 carats, 9 x 7 mm " Okay, now I know I
have never seen blue kunzite, but figured,… hey, it’s a beautiful
stone,… why not? So I bought it. (wasn’t very expensive, lol, not
THAT dumb.) Anyway, I got the package in the mail, and opened it up,
it was the most beautiful blue, with flashes of red and purple.
Almost made me think it was Tanzanite. I looked at it later, to show
my husband, and it was a deep purple red. I thought I had lost my
mind until I looked at it again in sunlight. In incandescant light
it is deep purple red, and in natural light it is Tanzanite blue(
exactly like the pictures of top color Tanzanite I have seen.) Do
any of you have any idea what it could be? I have never seen
anything like this before. I would greatly appreciate your input! I
would hate to spend the money on an appraisal to only find out it is
glass!! Sorry I was so long winded. Thanks for your help!!! Sue


#2

The color changes you are describing sound like alexandrite. If its a
natural alex,it could be quite valuable. The likelyhood of it being a
synthetic is very high though.Its hard to say with out
examination.Ed


#3

Hi Sue, Hope that you got the stone fairly reasonable! Kunzite is the
Violet Pink, transparent variety of Spodumene. It has marked
pleochroism, a clear difference in the depth of color in different
directions in the stone. Gem Crystals are usually very clean and very
clear! It has what is called easy cleavage, meaning that it’s quite
brittle and very sensitive to rough handling. It’s not a good ring
stone because of its brittleness. I personally have seen very large
crystals up to 400 - 500 cts. It’s not easy to facet, but it is done,
obviously. The Pink Stones are similar to Pink Topaz and Morganite.
Pink Tourmaline is a close look-a-like and has similar physical
properties. Kunzite is found in the U.S.(Calif, Maine and Conn.)
Brazil and Madagascar. California being the source of the largest
crystals. All well cut stones have a good value, Kunzite, being a
secondary stone, is more or less on par with good quality red
Garnets! No matter what, the stone is valued by its looks and
acceptance! Not much of this is out of my head, but from Simon
and Shusters “Gems and Precious Stones”! My memory needs the backup
of reference books nowdays. Enjoy your stone! JB


#4

In another life I was a ceramic engineer. I was working on a method
of doping zirconia (zirconiunm oxide) with other cations, using a
sol-gel process, in which water-based colloids were mixed and dried
slowly to a solid phase. At one point, the zirconia gel showed a
color change similar to the one you mention - it was at a stage
where it resembled stiff gelatin. I wonder if what you have is some
sort of technical ceramic that somebody liberated from a lab. If
you know anyone in a geology or materials lab, maybe you can get
them to run it through an electron microscope with probe
capabilities. It would certainly tell you if there is zirconium
present, though it sounds a little big to fit in the chamber.

Tas


#5

I have seen just such a color change in Sapphire . You need to have
the gem examined , natural blue/purple color change sapphire is a
fairly valuable material .

Mark Clodius