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Antique Genuine Natural Russian/Afghani Eight and Three-Quarter Carat (Plus) Faceted White/Lilac-Pink Kunzite Semi-Precious Gemstone.

CLASSIFICATION: Faceted White/Lilac-Pink Kunzite.

ORIGIN: Afghanistan. 19th Century.

SIZE: Length: 15mm. Width: 9mm. Depth: 9mm. All measurements approximate.

WEIGHT: 8.86 carats.

NOTES: Upon request we can set your gemstone as a ring, earring, or pendant.

DETAIL: Well known to Indian and Russian jewelers of the eighteenth and nineteenth century, but "newly discovered" in America in the twentieth century, kunzite, especially violet to pink shades of kunzite have become enormously popular in the first decade of the twenty-first century. Originally referred to as "pink amethyst" in Central Asia and Eastern Europe, it is a rare and gorgeous gemstone which typically can shift colors between pink-violet, and (depending on how it is cut) on occasion, yellow or green (which is sometimes referred to as "hiddenite"). It is noted for its feminine and alluring hues which range between pastel pinks and violets to intense, almost "neon" hues. Depending on the cut, it can also possess incredible sparkle and brilliance!

This particular specimen originated in Afghanistan, and was hand crafted and faceted by a 19th century Russian artisan, part of an heritage renown for the production of the elaborate gemstones and jewelry of the Czars of Medieval, Renaissance, and Victorian Russia. The gemstone is (very) pastel pink, so pastel that I would suggest you consider it white, with an undertone of pastel pink so light as to be almost indiscernible. As you can see in these photo enlargements, the gemstone is not without blemish (of course absolutely flawless gemstones are very rare in nature, they typically turn out to be synthetic "lab" gems). Though it is very large and considering its size quite clean, close scrutiny will reveal some small fine strands of particulate matter composed of colorless crystalline material blemishing the gemstone. However to the cursory glance of the casual admirer, it is clean to the eye, or nearly so, and seemingly without blemish. You have to examine the gemstone fairly closely to discern the blemishes it possesses.

Under magnification the gemstone shows the unmistakable characteristics of having been hand crafted. The coarseness of the 19th century finish is considered appealing to most gemstone collectors, and is not considered a detriment, or detract from the value of a gemstone. These characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, most serious collectors consider such gemstones more desirable, possessed of greater character and uniqueness when compared to today's cookie-cutter mass-produced machine-faceted gemstones. Unlike today's computer controlled machine produced gemstones, the cut and finish of a gemstone such as this is the legacy of an artisan who lived two centuries ago.

This gemstone has great luster and sparkle, and it is absolutely transparent. However the gemstone is clearly not flawless. Of course flawless gemstones are usually not the product of Mother Nature. Flawless gemstones tend to be the hallmark of synthetic, or man-made gemstones. The blemishes this natural gemstone possesses are not immediately discerned by the casual admirer, though anything more than a cursory glance will reveal a few blemishes composed of strands of colorless crystalline material. But to the cursory inspection of the casual admirer it is simply a nicely color, BIG gemstone. However magnified 400% or 500%, as it is here, you can see some these minor blemishes within the gemstone as well as occasional irregularities in the finish. However these characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, you must also consider that two centuries ago the mining techniques even possible then, let alone in practice, did not allow the ultra deep mining operations which are so commonplace today.

Keep in mind two centuries ago mankind was more or less limited to surface deposits or near surface deposits of gemstones. Higher quality gemstones which today are routinely mined from beneath hundreds of meters, even kilometers beneath the earth's surface, were simply inaccessible then. For these reasons antique gemstones must be appreciated as antiques first, gemstones second. The relatively superlative quality of contemporary gemstones routinely mined from deep beneath the earth's surface today were simply not accessible two centuries ago, or at least, only rarely so. However for most, the unique nature and character of antique gemstones such as this more than makes up for miniscule blemishes and cutting imperfections which by and large, are only visible under high magnification.

HISTORY: Kunzite is an unusual and rare gemstone stone. It was known in Central Asia and in Eastern Europe as early as the sixteenth century from sources in Afghanistan and Russia. A variety of spodumene, it was believed by Russian jewlers to be a variety of pink amethyst. There are also references to it in ancient Hindu texts, where it was referenced as having been produced in what is present-day Pakistan. Kunzite was first "discovered" in America at the Pala Chief Mine near San Diego, California and named after Tiffany's chief gemologist George Frederick Kunz, who was the first to give a comprehensive (and published) description of the gemstone shortly after the turn of the twentieth century. Another variety "discovered" in America was named "hiddenite", after A. E. Hidden who was one of the original mine owners of the type location for this spodumene variety in North Carolina.

By whatever name, it is still best known to geologists as "spodumene", the name derived from the Greek spodumenos, which meant "burnt to ashes" in reference to spodumene's commonly occurring light gray color. Spodumene is a major source of lithium (which is what gives it its pink color - violet undertones created by traces of manganese), which has a great variety of uses including in the manufacture of lubricants, ceramics, batteries, welding supplies, experimental fuels and in anti-depressant drugs. Kunzite displays two unusual characteristics; "phosphorescence" where Kunzite, in this respect similar to diamonds, is observed to glow in a darkened room after it has been exposed to the sun's ultra-violet rays and "Pleochroism", showing two different colors when viewed from different directions.

Kunzite commonly shows violet, pink, yellow or green hues depending upon the orientation of the cut gemstone. Transparent spodumenes of pink to violet color (kunzite) and yellowish-green to medium deep green (hiddenite) are used as gemstones. Kunzite was traditionally worn as a talisman which was believed to bring good luck to the wearer. Its soft pastel colors also came to symbolize purity. New age shamans and metaphysical practitioners regard it as a symbol of new life, specifically pregnancy. It is also believe to help the wearer understand and interact better with others, to help heal "broken hearts", to relieve stress and anger, and to bring love, peace and harmony. Kunzite is believed to help strengthen the circulatory system, and to be helpful in the treatment of lung disorders.

SHIPPING OPTIONS: All purchases are backed by an unlimited guarantee of satisfaction and authenticity. If for any reason you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it for a complete and immediate refund of your entire purchase price. Most of these antique gemstones were originally part of two collections, one originating in India principally composed of gemstones originally mined in India, Burma, Ceylon, and Siam, and then hand faceted in India. The addition of a second accumulation of antique gemstones originally mined in the Urals in the mid to late 19th century (including alexandrite) completed the collection. These gemstones as well were hand finished. The Urals have been one of the world's major sources of precious and semi-precious gemstones for many centuries. As well, additional specimens are occasionally acquired from other institutions and dealers in Eastern Europe and Asia. These antique gemstones are now in the United States and are available for immediate delivery.

We ship inventory from the USA order fulfillment center near Seattle, Washington. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipping within 48 hours of payment. A certificate of authenticity is available upon request. We prefer your personal check or money order over any other form of payment - and we will ship immediately upon receipt of your check (no "holds"). We will accept PayPal payments. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE".