since pale colored kunzite may be irradiated, then heated to
intensify its color, it may be possible to restore color
intensity to a faded piece. Has anyone here heard of this being
Faded Kunzite may be irradiated with Cobalt 60 Gamma Ray
It will turn a fantastic neon green color (that will fade in
sunlight in a very short time - to a very light color). Then the
Kunzite can be heated in a stoppered test tube over a bunsen burner
or in a Kitchen oven and it will turn pink again.
I saw a dealer do this once. He had a parcel of beautifully faceted
Kunzi te and he put it in the oven to “tweak” the pink color. The
phone rang and he forgot the stones in the oven. They became a
parcel of beautifully faceted clear colorless stones - but not what
After irradiation, they turned a fantastic neon green - rivalling
Paraiba Tourmaline - but the color faded quickly in sunlight.
After putting them back in the oven and paying careful attention,
the stones turned back to their characteristic pink color.
I do not know if this process would work on a stone that is already
mounted in a setting due to the different heat conduction rate of
the setting that would cause hotter points on parts of the stones
when heating. And I do not know how the Cobalt 60 Gamma Ray
Irradiation would affect the metal of the mountings. It would
probably be more intelligent to remove the stone from the mounting
in order to irradiate it.
One other consideration is that the treatment laboratories usually
have a minimum charge which is on the order of USD$ 1,000.00 per load.
Unless one can find a University Research Laboratory with a Cobalt
60 Gamma Ray facility and which charges a lower minimum fee for a
small load - it is probably not economically feasible to treat a
single stone. Of course one could find a kunzite dealer and ask him
to treat the jewlery piece along with his next load to be irradiated.
Lowe Associates - Brasil
Gemstones, Rough, Specimens
Tucson - Jan 31-Feb 5, 2007 - GJX booth # 205