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  : : About Spessartite Garnet
Qu'est-ce qu'il y a de spécial au sujet de la Spessartite?
What's Special about Spessartite?

Buy Natural Spessartite Garnet from GemSelectThe garnet family of gemstones is large and varied, but spessartite garnet is no ordinary garnet. Spessartite is a brilliant gem that has a refractive index even higher than sapphire. In fact only zircon, sphene and diamond are higher on the refractive index scale.

Garnet has always been highly regarded for its good hardness (7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale) and excellent durability (it has indistinct cleavage). But the inexpensive everyday garnets -- almandine and pyrope -- tend to a dark red with a distinct brownish tone. Spessartite could not be more different. Its striking orange and orange-red color combined with tremendous brilliance make spessartite very special.

Spessartite is manganese aluminum silicate by composition, and it is manganese that gives it the remarkable orange color. Spessartite is among the small group of ideochromatic gems, which are colored by a fundamental element in their composition rather than by impurities. Some spessartite has traces of iron which result in a rich orange-red color that is highly regarded by spessartite connoisseurs. Natural Spessartite Garnet at GemSelect Prior to the 1990's, spessartite garnet was a rare collector's stone. That changed in 1991 when an important new find was made in northwestern Namibia. In 1999 a much larger discovery was made in Nigeria. More recently we have seen excellent material coming from Mozambique. Today spessartite is reasonably plentiful, but mining experts warn this is likely to be a temporary situation.


As the market becomes educated about the attractions of spessartite, it has become featured more in fine jewelry. The striking color and brilliance are sufficient to make spessartite very interesting. But when you consider that all spessartite is untreated, it has special value in a marketplace where even very expensive sapphires and rubies are routinely heat treated.

Buy Natural Spessartite Garnet Gemstones

The Namibian spessartite is famous for its tangerine orange or "mandarin" color. The Namibian material tends to be included with many small crystals and needles. We are now seeing less and less Namibian Buy Spessartite Garnet from GemSelectmaterial in the market. The Mozambique spessartite ranges from pure orange to orange-red and red-orange, with many very clean specimens.

Some included material with excellent color is cut in very attractive cabochons. We have bought cabs as large as 50 carats. High quality clean red-orange spessartite can be found in weights up to 10 carats, but the mandarin orange tends to be found in smaller sizes.

  • First Published: January-30-2008
  • Last Updated: March-01-2011
  • © 2005-2014 GemSelect.com all rights reserved.
    Reproduction (text or graphics) without the express written consent of GemSelect.com (SETT Company Ltd.) is strictly prohibited.
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