Rhodolite Garnet Gemstone Information
About Rhodolite Garnet - History and Introduction
Rhodolite garnet is a raspberry-red, purplish-red or rose-coloured garnet. It is a mix of pyrope and almandine in composition. Rhodolite garnet gets its name from the Greek word, "rhodon", meaning "rose coloured", which refers to its pinkish hue.
The name "garnet" comes from the Medieval Latin word, "granatum", which is an adjective meaning "dark-red". It is thought that this adjective could have been extracted from the word "pomegranate", due to the colour of the seed coats or shape of the seeds. However, the word could also have come from another Medieval Latin word; "granum", referring to red dye. The use of red garnet dates back thousands of years, when it was used by Egyptian pharaohs for both decorative and ceremonial purposes. The ancient Romans also wore garnet rings and traded garnet gemstones. The best rhodolite garnet gemstones are a vivid raspberry-red colour.
Identifying Rhodolite Garnet Back to Top
Rhodolite garnet can be identified by its rose or raspberry red colour. Since it is a mix of pyrope and almandine garnet in composition, it is similar to both. Its purplish or pinkish tones can set it apart from the deeper reds of other garnets. Garnet can be distinguished from other gem types by its occurrence in metamorphic rock, its hardness (6.5 - 7.5 on the Mohs scale), colour, refractive index and cubic crystal structure. However, the quickest way to identify garnet is with the use of strong neodymium magnets. Garnet is attracted to neodymium magnets because it contains high concentrations of iron and/or manganese.
Rhodolite Garnet; Origin and Gemstone Sources Back to Top
Rhodolite garnet deposits occur in Brazil, Burma (Myanmar), China, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), South Africa, Tanzania, the USA and Zimbabwe.
Buying Rhodolite Garnet and Determining Rhodolite Garnet Gemstone Value Back to Top
Rhodolite Garnet Gemmological Properties: Back to Top
Please refer to our Gemstone Glossary for details of gemmology-related terms.
Rhodolite Garnet: Related or Similar Gemstones Back to Top
The composition of rhodolite garnet is a mixture of pyrope and almandine garnet, so it is closely related to both. Rhodolite garnet is also related to the garnet family, such as andradoid garnets (melanite, demantoid and topazolite), spessartite garnets, grossularite garnets (hydrogrossular, hessonite, leuco garnet and tsavorite) and uvarovite. Rhodolite garnet can also appear similar to ruby, spinel and tourmaline.
Rhodolite Garnet Gemstone Mythology, Metaphysical and Alternative Crystal Healing Powers Back to Top
Garnet has long been thought of as a travellers' stone. In fact, Noah's Ark is said to have had a garnet lantern to help navigate during the night. In traditional Hindu belief systems, garnet is associated with Muladhara, or the "root chakra", which is positioned at the base of the spine. The root chakra when clear is associated with healthy sexual activity and feelings of security and stability. Garnet is also thought to promote successful business, encourage compassion and aid self-confidence. Garnet is said to have the ability to heal the blood and encourage good circulation. Garnet is the traditional birthstone for January, the zodiacal stone for Aquarius and the second anniversary stone.
Rhodolite Garnet Gemstone and Jewellery Design Ideas Back to Top
Rhodolite garnet is a versatile gemstone and is ideal for almost any type of jewellery, such as rings, necklaces, pendants, bracelets, hair pins and many other beautiful ornaments. Rhodolite can be worn in silver or gold settings. Silver settings bring out the purple tones and gold settings enhance the rose tones. Rhodolite garnets can also be mixed with clear gemstones such as white sapphire, or other coloured gemstones such as topaz, smoky quartz or peridot, to provide a modern contrast of colour. The variety of shapes and sizes of rhodolite garnets allow for creative jewellery choices.
Note: Buy coloured gemstones by size and not by carat weight. Coloured stones vary in size-to-weight ratio. Some stones are larger and others are smaller than diamonds by weight in comparison.
Famous Rhodolite Garnet Gemstones Back to Top
Russian jeweller, Faberge, created brooches from rhodolite garnet gemstones during the 19th century. One such piece of work is fashioned from rhodolite garnet, gold, diamonds, rubies, enamel and silver.
In around 1900, Paulding Farnham, a Tiffany and Co. designer famous for Art Nouveau jewel flowers, created a stunningly intricate iris flower brooch for his wife using rhodolite garnets, diamonds, and green demantoid garnets for the stem.
Exclusive and acclaimed jeweller to the stars, Joel Arthur Rosenthal (known simply as JAR) designed intricate jewels in the form of flowers, (possibly influenced by Paulding Farnham) that featured rhodolite garnets, amongst other coloured gemstones.
Actress, Sanaa Lathan wore an exquisite pair of rhodolite, pink sapphire and vanilla diamond earrings from Arusha Exotics by Le Vian to the 43rd NAACP Image Awards in 2012.
Rhodolite Garnet Gemstone Jewellery Care and Cleaning Back to Top
Rhodolite garnet gemstones are quite tough and durable. Proper care for rhodolite garnets includes protecting them from hard blows, which could damage them. To clean your rhodolite garnets, simply use warm soapy water and a soft cloth. Be sure to rinse well to remove soapy residue. As with most gemstones, ultrasonic cleaners and steamers are not recommended. Rhodolite garnets should not be exposed to sudden changes in temperature. Always remove any jewellery or gemstones before exercising, cleaning or engaging in harsh physical activities such as sport. Store rhodolite garnets away from other gemstones to avoid scratches. It is best to wrap gemstones in soft cloth or place them inside a fabric-lined jewellery box.
- First Published: January-23-2007
- Last Updated: May-29-2014
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