[mass noun] A lilac-coloured gem variety of spodumene which fluoresces or changes colour when irradiated.
- ‘The mine also had the reputation of being a producer of fine crystals of morganite and kunzite.’
- ‘They are often associated with large crystals of kunzite, the lilac-colored variety of spodumene.’
- ‘I visited Paolo Nercessian and obtained a photograph of him holding up an enormous etched gem crystal of kunzite, the spodumene variety that was then being found in quantity for the first time.’
- ‘Some of the gems, such as brazilianite (brasilianite in this book) and kunzite could have been given better coverage, but what is included is worthwhile.’
- ‘It discovered that the colors of several gem minerals - including pearl, sapphire, quartz, kunzite, and topaz - can be changed by the USPS irradiation method.’
Early 20th century: from the name of George F. Kunz (1856–1932), American gemmologist, + -ite.