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Back in the early 80s, when our crosses, snakes and skulls were so popular, I felt a symbol that was nondenominational and had nothing but positive connotations. I was recovering from a minor operation and sitting with paper and a pencil in our old, 16th century house of the time and saw the big, old key sticking out of the ancient oak door and thought how great it looked. Surprisingly, the key had hardly been used in jewellery through the ages except as a symbol of a twenty-first birthday – ‘key to the door’. I worked on a design that would be obviously a key but also be wearable and aesthetically pleasing. Thus our first key was born. That basic shape is one we have used, among many others, ever since and has been the basis of many permutations.

Kunzite is currently found in Afghanistan, Brazil, Madagascar, and America. It was discovered relatively recently in 1902 in California after unidentified pink crystals were sent to the renowned gem specialist George Frederick Kunz. He confirmed that the crystals were a previously unknown type of Spodumene, their beautiful colour caused by manganese. 

These new pink stones were named after him and from that point on were known as Kunzite. They are frequently found free from inclusions and can occur in large sizes. The Smithsonian Institution has one of the largest, a faceted heart-shape weighing in at 880 carats. 

Care should be taken when displaying, wearing, cleaning and storing these gems as they are susceptible to breaking and the colour can fade with prolonged exposure to heat and intense light.

Description: Kunzite is the light pink to violet-purple variety of a mineral called Spodumene, which is found in various locations including Madagascar.

Hardness: 6.5 – 7 on Mohs Scale

Fact: It is named after G.F. Kunz, a famous gemologist.

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