Kornerupine was first discovered in 1884 in Greenland, and is named after the Danish gemmologist, Andreas N. Kornerup. It is an extremely rare gemstone usually found in a clear brown or yellow crystal form. A good quality Kornerupine, if cabochon cut, can display the “Cat’s Eye” effect and sometimes “asterism” (a star effect). It is also sometimes referred to as Prismatine.
One of the rarest colours to find a Kornerupine in is green. What makes these extra special is that they bear a striking resemblance to that of an Emerald; not just in colour, but also in its refractive index. It can be distinguished, however, by its pleochroic property, which means that it is possible to see different colours when viewed from different angles.
Green isn’t the only striking colour the gem can be found in, as it can also come in yellows, browns, pinks and even a clear form. A Kornerupine can display colours ranging from a yellowish green colour to a brownish red when turned and looked at through different angles and facets.
This precious stone has long been associated with its supposed ability to have a magical link with breaking one’s self-doubt and oppressions. It has been said that if you are ever feeling down in the dumps then this is the stone for you. Its capabilities are renowned for lifting spirits and helping you determine where a problem lies and thus transforming your life. Often used in meditation, the gem is said to enlighten and focus one’s mind. As with many of the rarer gemstones, Kornerupine prices jump exponentially for larger pieces. A 2ct specimen is currently typically costing around four to five times more than a 1ct.
Kornerupine is usually found in Sri Lanka in deposits known as ‘placers’. These form in river beds that retain thick mud and heavy stones, allowing lighter minerals such as Sphene, Iolite, and Garnets to flow to another deposit slightly downstream. Deposits of Kornerupine can also be found in Madagascar and Australia.
It is also worthwhile mentioning that octagon cuts traditionally sides that are equal in length, providing an appearance similar to a hexagon cut, but with two additional sides.
The gem is normally step cut, with one or two steps above the girdle and three or four below. For gems with good clarity, when studying the cut from above, it provides an attractive symmetrical appearance and your eyes are naturally drawn along the lines of the pavilion towards the centralised culet.