Gemology: K is for ...


There are not many gemstones beginning with K, but our gemology guide will bring you them all! Welcome to the world of Kashmir Sapphire, Keshi Pearl, Kunzite and Kyanite.

Kashmir Sapphire

Kashmir Sapphire, from the Kashmir region of India, is a highly prized variant sapphire with a rich deep colour.

Keshi Pearl Keshi Pearls are an organic gemstone formed in the shells of cultured oysters and molluscs. In the cultured pearl industry, an artificial nucleus is inserted into the shell for a pearl to form around. With Keshi Pearls, the nucleus is rejected by the host mollusc so no round pearl is formed; instead, a bumpy, irregular shaped and flattish all-nacre pearl is formed instead. Keshi Pearls are highly durable and have a great lustre, and as no two are the same they're perfect for making unusual and unique pieces of jewellery.

Kunzite

Kunzite (have you ever heard of it?) is a stunning pastel pink crystal mineral. It has often been confused with rose quartz, tourmaline, and even fancy sapphire! It's a relative newcomer to the gemstone scene, with the first commercially viable deposits found in California in 1902. Kunzite crystals can grow quite large. The Smithsonian Institute in Washington has a beautiful faceted Kunzite gemstone on display that weighs 880 carats, and to get the best colour appearance it's recommended that Kunzite gemstones should be cut no smaller than 10 carats. Kunzite is one of those rare gems that reacts to sunlight. Any Kunzite jewellery you have is best saved for after dark events and occasions as exposure to sunlight will fade it. Care should always be taken when wearing Kunzite as it does chip easily when knocked.

Kyanite Kyanite is a blue mineral gemstone, getting it's name from the Greek for blue, 'Kyanos' - also the origin of the word Cyan! Although generally considered a blue gemstone, recent deposits in Tanzania have yielded orange Kyanite, and a teal blue Kyanite has been found in Kenya. Depending on where your Kyanite gemstone has originated, it can be a pale, almost colourless blue, or a blue deep enough to rival sapphire. Kyanite is not particularly durable, and prone to splitting when knocked, so it's best used for low-impact jewellery, like earrings and pendants.

Next week: "Alternative Uses For Clip-On Earrings". Think clip-on earrings are just for your ears? Think again! We'll show you a number of different uses for your clip-on earrings – ideal for if you have lost or broken one of a pair but don't want to waste the other!

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