Kornerupine is a gem that had a very short heyday, and mostly in my own shop. This tells you a lot about its rarity. Or rather, the rarity of the particular Kornerupine that I’d like you to meet.
The gemstone Kornerupine has been found in several locations, and it is not a new discovery. It was first discovered in Greenland in 1884 and is named after Danish geologist Andreas N. Kornerup, and it now comes from Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Madagascar, Kenya and Tanzania.
However, most Kornerupine is not very visually interesting. It is olive green or yellow and mostly opaque. Nice specimens can be cut into cat’s eyes, which are neat and also rare. Please contact us directly for more information regarding the pieces pictured here:
Most of the cat’s eye Kornerupine is found in Sri Lanka. Madagascar yields green and yellow Kornerupine, but I have seen more faceted material than cat’s eye come from there.
The Kornerupine I really love, however, is Tanzanian material. It is found in Maramba, north west of Tanga, close to the Kenyan border. Or at least that’s where it used to be found because nothing much has come out in recent years.
Tanzanian Kornerupine is among the finest material I have seen on the market, it is very brilliant, clean, and the colors are beautiful. Kornerupine is a tri-chroic material but you do not always see all the colors displayed in the specimens. The material you want to look for is predominantly some kind of teal color, between blue teal and green teal, and it contains purple. It is very similar to some unheated tanzanite but in the top specimens the colors are more intense. Even included material from that region still shows off its beauty.
I have this Tanzanian Kornerupine that is not yet on Etsy. It's gorgeous and is 1.51 carats, 9.5 x 6.4mm. Please inquire directly:
If the color is just right, a more monochroic Kornerupine can also look fantastic. Teal is an incredible color anyway and its shades from blue to green to darker to lighter really attract the eye. That’s why indicolite and lagoon tourmaline are so popular.
The most beautiful piece of Kornerupine I ever saw looked just like a tourmaline, not quite blue, not quite green, it had exceptional clarity and a specific neon glow that wasn’t like anything I’d seen before. I asked the vendor if it was a tourmaline (thinking: it couldn’t be a tourmaline but it really couldn't be Kornerupine). It really was a Kornerupine. A unicorn. He wanted 9k for a three carat stone (also unusual as most Kornerupine is fairly small). I didn’t have the money for it but then changed my mind later – this was in Tucson in 2023. When I went back to the vendor to see if we could do terms, it was gone. I never saw anything even closely similar again.
Sadly, even the tri chroic material is now pretty sold out and I have not found any good source for new stuff. Most pieces I see are under .3 carats, if I see them at all.
Here are some examples of the kornerupine we currently have in the shop. You can see them on Etsy here:
If you design with this color, you will be pleasantly surprised. It lends itself to pairing with softer colors, i.e. Padparadscha tones, while you can also liven it up with similar colors and pair it with tanzanite, sapphire, purple sapphire, tourmaline, including Paraiba tourmaline, and lighter emerald.
Here's an example of some of the ways we've worked with Kornerupine in the past to give you an idea of its versatility. The ring on the center right can be found in the store here.
The greenish specimens look great with purple and vice versa. It’s a very versatile stone that pairs well without overwhelming because it can be strong colored but isn’t neon.