George Frederick Kunz

George Frederick Kunz

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George Frederick Kunz

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George Frederick Kunz (September 29, 1856 – June 29, 1932) was an American mineralogist and mineral collector.


Kunz was born in New York City, USA, and began an interest in minerals at a very young age. By his teens, he had amassed a collection of over four thousand items, which he sold for four hundred dollars to the University of Minnesota. Kunz attended Cooper Union but did not finish and did not attend college. Nonetheless, he taught himself mineralogy from books and field research. This expertise landed him a job with Tiffany & Co., and his knowledge and enthusiasm propelled him into a vice presidency by the time he was 23. He gained much notoriety for identifying a new gem variety of the mineral spodumene which was named "Kunzite" in his honor.

He headed up the US mining and mineralogical exhibits at the international expositions in Paris , Chicago , Atlanta , Paris , and St. Louis . He gave a series of eight lectures on "Precious Stones" for the Lowell Institute's 1894-95 season. As a gentleman scientist, he was a member of the Mineralogical Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, New York Academy of Sciences (of which he was once a vice president), the New York Mineralogical Club, the American Scenic and Preservation Society (for which he served as president), the American Chemical Society, the American......
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