The Midnight Stone

Discovered in San Diego County in 1902, kunzite is a relative newcomer to the gem scene. It is known for its delicate pink to violetish purple color and for being found in large sizes with high clarity. Kunzite’s color can fade when it is exposed to bright light or high heat, however, making it more appropriate for evening wear than day wear. Some of the first kunzite crystals ever found are seen here, along with the box used to mail them in 1902. Charles Baskerville, a chemistry professor, sent these stones to be analyzed by Tiffany & Co.’s chief gemologist, George Frederick Kunz, who confirmed the crystals were a new variety of the mineral spodumene. Baskerville subsequently named the new gem kunzite to honor Kunz.

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