Information on Kunzite

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Information on Kinite


As Kunzite’s exposure time to UV light increases, it tends to become
less saturated. So those lavender stones, exposed to daylight long
enough, will become pink. Sometimes faster than you’d think. That’s
why they used to be called “The Evening Stone”. Wear only in
darkness!!! Kunzite is often an amethyst color when it comes out of
the ground, but usually fades quite rapidly. Some will fade more
than others, hard to know when and where an individual stone is



Kunzite is named after the great American gemologist George Kunz. He
was one of the early chroniclers of the mines in San Diego Co.
California. Discovery of the lithium pegmatite gems in the Pala area
just before the turn of the twentieth century was attributed to
William McGee who laid claim to the Stewart Lithia deposit as being
one of cinnabar mineralization ( Mercury sulphide ) His mercury
deposit later came to be realized as being pink tourmaline in
lepidolite. His heir, William McGee of Oceanside, Ca. subsequently
became active in mining in that area and other pegmatites in the
county. The latter McGee once took a lease on one of the claims on
Hiriart Mountain in Pala. ( I believe this was back in the sixties.
) His reward was hitting a pocket of large flawless kunzite
crystals…about the size of a man’s forearm and richly colored.
This unpretentious hill, which is called a mountain, has been the
site of many significant gem occurrences and the remarkable thing
about it is that each pegmatite vein is unique. One might be notable
for its horde of acquamarine, another for its’ gem tourmalines,
another was noteworthy for having produced the largest crystals of
Morganite beryl ever uncovered in America.( I visited this mine in
the seventies and saw some of the incredible specimens featuring
such flawless crystals of beryl that you could read a newspaper
through them. They were squat hexagonal prisms approximately three
inches thick and six inches across !) Morganite beryl comes out of
the ground without coloration, but as soon as it is exposed to
sunlight it turns pink because of the interaction of the suns rays
with the cesium within. ( Color treatment by nature ?) (( Treatment
by man and nature ?)) This same mountain was also noted for it’s huge
clear quartz crystals. These were usually mined by a Mr. George
Ashley who passionately carved them into exquisite bowls and
carvings. Some of these crystals were measurable in the hundreds of
pounds. The lithium pegmatites of San Diego county actually extend
into Riverside County, Ca. and then down into the Baja California
peninsula. The remarkable thing about it is that they are probably as
highly mineralized as the famed Brazilian “pegs”, but they have not
been exploited as intensively because they don’t benefit from cheap
labor as is the case in Brazil and Pakistan. Chances are that much
remains to be uncovered, but is unrealized because of economic
restrictions.It just occurred to me that here we might have an
underground National Park…a place where we might develop
preserves of exceptional mineral wealth…a place where
irreplaceable terrestrial processes might be protected from wanton
exploitation and degradation. ( Just a thought ).

Sorry about “going off” ! I grew up in Southern California as did my
forebears. We knew it as a kind of bucolic paradise,richly
endowed, a benign climate, beautiful vistas, unspoiled shores and
waters. Now it is in eco-system collapse, urban anarchy, habitat
overload in extremis, criminal insanity, political corruption and
economic bedlam, and, the hell of it is, that it can’t possibly
reclaim itself. Now it is overlain with the global malaise of
incontrovertible pollution and the greenhouse effect. Compared to
what we are doing to the planet, the degradation of the Southern
California “paradise” is small potatoes. Fasten your safety belts

Ron Mills at Mills Gem Co.Los Osos, ca.

I have a gemologist friend who declares that only Kunzite from
Afghanistan does not fade in direct sunlight. He buys rough direct
and has tested it’s stability over years himself. Beautifully
saturated stuff from this country.