Seller: ancientgifts (4,777) 100%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 122920501353 Antique Genuine Natural Russian/Afghani Seven and One-Half Carat Faceted White (Pastel Pink) Kunzite Oval Cut Semi-Precious Gemstone. CLASSIFICATION: Faceted White/Pink Kunzite Oval. ORIGIN: Afghanistan. 19th Century. SIZE: Length: 11 1/2mm. Width: 10 1/2mm. Depth: 8 1/2mm. All measurements approximate. WEIGHT: 7.46 carats. NOTES: Upon request we can set your gemstones as a ring, pendant, or as earrings (click here for more information). DETAIL: In the ancient world 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. Well known to Indian and Russian jewelers of the eighteenth and nineteenth century, but “newly discovered” in America in the twentieth century, 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, green. 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 considering its size (it is a very large gemstone) it is quite clean, close scrutiny will reveal some small particulate blemishes composed of colorless crystalline material. However to the casual admirer, it is clean to the eye and seemingly without blemish. You have to scrutinize the gemstone very closely to discern the blemishes it possesses, and even then, they are much easier to discern from the back side of the gemstone than from the front. Once mounted (right side up of course), these tiny blemishes would be virtually impossible to detect except in a jeweler’s loupe or scope. 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. For most, the unique nature and character of antique gemstones such as this more than makes up for a slightly irregular finish, characteristics which by and large, are only visible under magnification. This gemstone has great luster and sparkle, and it is absolutely transparent. However the gemstone is 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. Of course the blemishes this natural gemstone possesses are near invisible to the naked eye, especially from the front of the gemstone, and the gemstone could be characterized, to use trade jargon, as "near eye clean". To the view of the casual admirer the gemstone is seemingly without blemish. However magnified 400% or 500%, as it is here, you can see some these minor blemishes within the gemstone, a very modest sprinkling of minute colorless crystalline particulate matter; 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 OF KUNZITE: Kunzite is an unusual and rare gemstone. It is the pink or violet-colored variety of the spodumene family, cousin to hiddenite (green spodumene) and triphane (yellow or colorless spodumene). It was known in Central Asia and in Eastern Europe as early as the sixteenth century from sources in Afghanistan and Russia. It was believed by Russian jewelers 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” (officially at least, as reported in Western sources) in America at the Pala Chief Mine near San Diego, California. The “newly discovered” gemstone was 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 spodumene variety “discovered” in America few decades prior to kunzite was named “hiddenite”, after A. E. Hidden, who was one of the original mine owners wherein this spodumene variety was found (in North Carolina). By whatever name, kunzite, hiddenite, and triphane are all still best known to geologists as “spodumene” (first described in literature in 1800 A.D.). The name spodumene is 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, trace amounts of which is what gives it its pink color; violet undertones are created by traces of manganese. Lithium 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” whereby kunzite, in this respect similar to diamond, 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 is actually trichroic, meaning it can appear up to three different colors, depending on the angle from which it is viewed. It can appear very strongly violet from one angle, light purple/violet/pink from another, and pale green or colorless from a third angle of view. 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 is particularly noteworthy 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. Kunzite is presently mined in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Burma, Ceylon, Finland, Sweden, Russia, Australia, Mozambique, Nigeria and Madagascar. It is often found in association with other two semi-precious pink gemstones; morganite and pink tourmaline. The largest known faceted kunzite gemstones include a 614 carat pear at the University of Delaware's mineral museum, and an 880 carat gemstone on display in the Smithsonian Institution's collection in Washington D.C. Kunzite was virtually unknown to the American public until the Sotheby's auction of a very special kunzite ring in 1996. Among the jewelry from the Estate of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was a ring with a 47 carat cushion cut kunzite stone surrounded by 20 round diamonds set in 18k gold. The ring was originally purchased by President John F. Kennedy as a Christmas gift for his wife in 1963. The ring was never “presented” by the President to his wife, as he was assassinated the month prior to Christmas (in November 1963). Throughout the history of the ancient world, gemstones were believed capable of curing illness, possessed of valuable metaphysical properties, and to provide protection. Found in Egypt dated 1500 B. C., the "Papyrus Ebers" offered one of most complete therapeutic manuscripts containing prescriptions using gemstones and minerals. Gemstones were not only valued for their medicinal and protective properties, but also for educational and spiritual enhancement. In the ancient world 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, and believe that it also opens the path to spirituality for new wearers, revealing the inner soul and the “purpose” of their incarnation. It is also believed to help the wearer understand and interact better with others, to help heal "broken hearts" (and is considered especially beneficial for those who have experienced a failed relationship or marriage), to relieve stress and anger, dissolve negativity, and to bring love, peace and harmony. It is also said to be useful for increasing the wearer’s inner strength and sense of self worth, for removing emotional blockages originating in past (i.e., childhood) experiences. It is also said to stimulate sensitivity and sensuality. It is sometimes referred to as a “stone of balance”, offering its wearer emotional calmness, security, and maturity. Kunzite is believed to help strengthen the circulatory system, and to be helpful in the treatment of lung disorders, psychiatric disorders, chemical dependencies and addictions, and depression. SHIPPING & RETURNS/REFUNDS: Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are fully insured against loss, and our shipping rates include the cost of this coverage (through stamps.com, Shipsaver.com, the USPS, UPS, or Fed-Ex). International tracking is provided free by the USPS for certain countries, other countries are at additional cost. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per item so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked 30-day return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price; 1) less our original shipping/insurance costs, 2) less non-refundable PayPal/eBay payment processing fees. Please note that PayPal does NOT refund fees. Even if you “accidentally” purchase something and then cancel the purchase before it is shipped, PayPal will not refund their fees. So all refunds for any reason, without exception, do not include PayPal/eBay payment processing fees (typically between 3% and 5%) and shipping/insurance costs (if any). If you’re unhappy with PayPal and eBay’s “no fee refund” policy, and we are EXTREMELY unhappy, please voice your displeasure by contacting PayPal and/or eBay. We have no ability to influence, modify or waive PayPal or eBay policies. ABOUT US: We travel to Russia each year seeking antique gemstones and jewelry from one of the globe’s most prolific gemstone producing and cutting centers, the area between Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg, Russia. From all corners of Siberia, as well as from India, Ceylon, Burma and Siam, gemstones have for centuries gone to Yekaterinburg where they have been cut and incorporated into the fabulous jewelry for which the Czars and the royal families of Europe were famous for. My wife grew up and received a university education in the Southern Urals of Russia, just a few hours away from the mountains of Siberia, where alexandrite, diamond, emerald, sapphire, chrysoberyl, topaz, demantoid garnet, and many other rare and precious gemstones are produced. Though perhaps difficult to find in the USA, antique gemstones are commonly unmounted from old, broken settings – the gold reused – the gemstones recut and reset. Before these gorgeous antique gemstones are recut, we try to acquire the best of them in their original, antique, hand-finished state – most of them centuries old. We believe that the work created by these long-gone master artisans is worth protecting and preserving rather than destroying this heritage of antique gemstones by recutting the original work out of existence. That by preserving their work, in a sense, we are preserving their lives and the legacy they left for modern times. Far better to appreciate their craft than to destroy it with modern cutting. Not everyone agrees – fully 95% or more of the antique gemstones which come into these marketplaces are recut, and the heritage of the past lost. But if you agree with us that the past is worth protecting, and that past lives and the produce of those lives still matters today, consider buying an antique, hand cut, natural gemstone rather than one of the mass-produced machine cut (often synthetic or “lab produced”) gemstones which dominate the market today. Our interest in the fabulous history of Russian gemstones and the fabulous jewelry of the Czar’s led to further education and contacts in India, Ceylon, and Siam, other ancient centers of gemstone production and finishing. We have a number of “helpers” (family members, friends, and colleagues) in Russia and in India who act as eyes and ears for us year-round, and in reciprocity we donate a portion of our revenues to support educational institutions in Russia and India. Occasionally while in Russia, India, Siam, and Ceylon we will also find such good buys on unique contemporary gemstones and jewelry that we will purchase a few pieces to offer to our customers here in America. These are always offered clearly labeled as contemporary, and not antiques – just to avoid confusion. We can set most any antique gemstone you purchase from us in your choice of styles and metals ranging from rings to pendants to earrings and bracelets; in sterling silver, 14kt solid gold, and 14kt gold fill. When you purchase from us, you can count on quick shipping and careful, secure packaging. We would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."