Kunzite is a purplish pink variety of the gem family spodumene. It was discovered relatively recently, in 1902 by George Frederick Kunz (1856-1932), namesake of the stone. Kunz is considered the father of modern gemmology, and was the first Chief Gemmologist to be employed by a jewellery company, the eminent American house of Tiffany & Co.
The jewellery firm Kutchinsky was founded in the 1890s in the East End of London by a family of Polish immigrants, who had at one time been jewellers to the court of Ludwig of Bavaria. Heading up the firm in England for most of the twentieth century was Joseph Kutchinsky (1914-2000). Trained in the family business, and also as a diamond polisher, Joseph worked his way up from being the youngest of four children. He had two sons, Roger and Paul, who also entered the family business. In the 1950s the firm moved to Knightsbridge, where a shop remains today, though now under the ownership of Moussaieff.