Though named after the North Carolina’s Unaka Mountains where it was first discovered, Unakite is also found in different countries such as Switzerland, Brazil, China, Sierra Leone and South Africa as well as in Zimbabwe in varying quantities. Even in the US, some deposits of this valuable stone have been found in river valleys in Virginia and the glacial drifts around the Great Lakes. It is a granite type of rock that is composed of colorless quartz, pinkish feldspar and green epidote with black veining in some deposits. These components are strongly bonded together and it is based on the strong bond existing among its constituent elements that the stone is used as a symbol of ‘what comes together, belongs together.’ When formed without the feldspar, it is called epidosite which can be utilized as cabochons and beads.
Just like Chalcedonies, Unakite is available in opaque masses as it does not easily crystallize. Granodiorite, as it is also called, has different colors such as gray, green, white, moss green, pistachio, peach, and light red interweaved together to give an amazing mottled appearance. It is also referred to as epidotised granite. It has vitreous luster and specific gravity ranging around 2.85 to 3.20. It has a Mohs hardness of 6 - 7, same as Quartz while its cleavage planes are absent. With a refractive index of 1.729 to 1.68, it possesses a microcrystalline Hexagonal-Trigonal system. It has granular or uneven fracture while it lacks pleochroism. Given its toughness, it has value in lapidary and jewelry-making businesses as it can be cut and polished to form beads and cabochons. With a good quality Unakite, sculptors can carve images that can be used as ornaments and jewelry.