Kornerupine is valued as a gemstone when it is found in translucent green to yellow shades. The emerald green varieties are especially sought after. It forms a solid solution series with prismatine. Strongly pleochroic, it appears green or reddish brown when viewed from different directions. It has a vitreous luster.
It was first described in 1884 for an occurrence in Fiskernæs in southwest Greenland. It was named in honor of the Danish geologist, Andreas Nikolaus Kornerup Andreas Kornerup [de] (1857–1883). Although kornerupine was named in 1884, it was not until 1912 that gem-quality material was found and it remains uncommon to this day.
Deposits are found in Burma (Myanmar), Canada (Quebec), Kenya, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and South Africa.