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George Frederick Kunz

One of the most important gemmologists of the late 19th and early 20th century.

George Frederick Kunz was born in the Big Apple, New York on the 29th September 1856. Although he studied science at The Cooper Union, he never completed his course. His interest in mineralogy was self-taught from reading books and field research and by his late teens he had amassed over 4000 mineral specimens.
He made many expeditions looking for different specimens that he would then take to colleges and universities for them to use as material when studying.

While working on his expeditions he became friends with many important people in the world of gemmology and at the age of just 23, his incredible knowledge of gemstones and enthusiasm saw him appointed to the board at Tiffany & Co, a job which at the time was regarded as the highest accolade in the gem world!

It was Kunz who discovered Morganite, which he named after his company’s banker J.P Morgan. Kunzite was also named in respect of this legendary gem hunter who remains, until this very day, one of the most famous and important mineral specialists of all time.
Kunz wrote hundreds of articles on gems and gemmology, and was appointed to the board of many mineralogical societies, including being a research curator for the Museum of Natural History in New York City. Possibly the best gem book ever written, “The Curious Lore of Precious Stones” was written by Fredrick Kunz in 1913.

He married Sophia Hanforth in 1879 who sadly died in 1912. It wasn’t until 1923 that Kunz married Opal Logan Giberson, but the marriage was unsuccessful, and shortly after he decided to annul the marriage. Kunz died on the 29th of June 1932 at the age of 76.

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Kunzite is named after

George Frederick Kunz.

Morganite was discovered by

G.F. Kunz 1911.