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By Gavin Clarke Reviewed By Andreas Zabczyk Nov 29, 2013 Updated Sep 03, 2020

Demantoid Garnet Gemstone Information

A Demantoid Garnet Gemstone from GemSelect - Large Image
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About Demantoid Garnet - History and Introduction

Demantoid garnet is a brilliant green variety of andradite garnet, colored by chromium and ferric iron. It is considered to be the rarest and most valuable member of the garnet group of minerals. Demantoid has an exceptionally high refractive index making it not only the most brilliant garnet but also more brilliant than both ruby and sapphire. Demantoid garnet also has exceptional fire and boasts the highest dispersion rating of any jewelry gemstone available today, even exceeding that of fine diamond. Like most green garnets, demantoid is typically found only in small sizes. Specimens over one carat are rare and specimens over 2 carats are very rare indeed. In fact, demantoid garnet is traditionally considered to be one of the rarest colored gemstones today.

Demantoid garnet was first discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia, and although garnets have been known for ages, demantoid wasn't discovered until 1853. Today, Russian demantoid is considered extremely rare and very valuable. Russian demantoid is highly prized for its distinctive golden 'horsetail' inclusions, owed to the presence of byssolite or chrysotile asbestos; but not all Russian demantoid exhibits golden thread-like inclusions. Other origins, may also produce similar inclusions but rather than being caused by traces of asbestos, they are regarded as characteristics of serpentinite geographic origins.

Identifying Demantoid Garnet

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Demantoid belongs to the andradite variety of garnet and can be identified by its calcium iron silicate content. It has specific gravity (density) ranging from 3.7 to 4.1 and an extremely high refractive index of 1.88 to 1.94 (higher than sapphire and ruby). Demantoid is the most brilliant of all garnets, with only diamond and some zircon having greater brilliance than demantoid. Demantoid garnet has a dispersion that exceeds diamond and an adamantine (diamond-like) luster. Demantoid is colored by chromium and ferric iron. It rarely occurs in large sizes, which can help identify it from other similar gems such as peridot, grossularite, spinel, emerald, tourmaline or uvarovite garnet.

Demantoid Garnet Origin and Gemstone Sources

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Demantoid garnet was first discovered in the Ural Mountains in Russia in 1853; the Russian deposits remained the only source until a major find was discovered in Namibia (the Green Dragon Mine) in 1996. In 2003, there was another significant deposit discovered in Madagascar. More recently, there have been reported findings in Afghanistan, Italy, Iran, China, Korea, Zaire and the USA.

Buying Demantoid Garnet and Determining Demantoid Garnet Gemstone Value

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Demantoid Garnet Color

Demantoid garnet by definition is always green, its characteristic color is caused by traces of chromium. The yellowish colors are owed to ferric iron. Colors range from a light yellowish-green (similar to peridot) to a deep green, almost the color of fine emerald. Specimens with a more intense green are more highly valued, but the lighter stones display substantially more fire.

Demantoid Garnet Clarity and Luster

Demantoid garnet is known for its high transparency and adamantine (diamond-like) luster. Inclusions are common for demantoid garnet, especially in stones weighing over 1 carat. Eye-clean stones of under 1 carat weight can be found but most will have some visible inclusions. With Russian demantoid, horsetail inclusions are welcomed as a desirable characteristic.

Demantoid Garnet Cut and Shape

Demantoid garnet is typically faceted rather than cut en cabochon. The most common shape is oval as it preserves the most original rough carat weight, which is especially important since most stones are quite small. Other popular shapes include round, pear, cushion and fancy cuts. Diamond-cut stones are quite popular due to their ability to maximize demantoid's remarkable brilliance and fire.

Demantoid Garnet Treatment

Like most garnet varieties, demantoid garnet is not known to be treated or artificially enhanced in any way. In 2003, rumors circulated that some Russian material may have been enhanced through low heating, but gemological tests were unable to detect the treatment.

Demantoid Garnet Gemological Properties:

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Demantoid Garnet
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Chemical Formula: Ca3Fe2(SiO4) Calcium chromium silicate
Crystal Structure: Cubic - rhombic dodecahedron, icositetrahedron
Color: Yellow-green, green to emerald green
Hardness: 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale
Refractive Index: 1.888 to 1.94
Density: 3.70 to 4.10
Cleavage: Indistinct
Transparency: Transparent to opaque
Double Refraction or Birefringence: Normally none
Luster: Vitreous, diamond-like, adamantine
Fluorescence: Mostly none

Please refer to our Gemstone Glossary for details of gemology-related terms.

Demantoid Garnet: Varieties or Similar Gemstones:

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Natural Hessonite
Hessonite Garnet

The garnet group of gemstones is one of the most important in the gem trade. Garnet is best known in its classic red form, but garnet can occur in various other colors including green, blue, brown, pink and purple. Since garnet deposits have formed in locations scattered throughout the world, there are a number of other gemstones that can be easily mistaken for garnet. Some of the most commonly confused gems include chrysoberyl, alexandrite, tourmaline, spinel and sapphire.

Although there are only six mineral species of garnet, there are several distinct gemstone forms. This is because garnet very commonly forms with more than one mineral species. In fact, garnet is very rarely in pure form.

Most Popular Related Gem and Mineral Associations:

Star garnet, pyrope garnet, almandine garnet, rhodolite garnet, spessartite garnet, grossularite garnet, tsavorite garnet and malaya (malaia) garnet are among the most popular garnet varieties.

Lesser-Known Related Gem and Mineral Associations:

Hydrogrossular garnet, color change garnet, andradite garnet, melanite garnet, topazolite garnet, uvarovite Garnet, Mali garnet, hessonite garnet, leuco garnet and umbalite garnet are among the lesser known garnet varieties.

Demantoid Garnet Gemstone Mythology, Metaphysical and Alternative Healing

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The name 'garnet' comes from the Latin word 'granatus', which means 'seed-like' - in reference to pomegranate fruit seeds. Although the distinction of the garnet varieties is relatively new, garnet stones in general have been widely known for thousands of years. The Greeks believed garnet protected their children from drowning and it was thought to be a potent antidote to poison. The Koran notes garnet as a stone that illuminates the fourth heaven. Hebrew and Christian scriptures included garnet as one of the twelve stones embedded on Aaron's breastplate, and it was also reported that Noah used a lantern fabricated from garnet to safely steer his ark through the darkness of night.

Garnet is a traveler's stone. Many courageous discoverers and adventurers were known for wearing garnet stones for protection. Garnets were considered to be powerful talismans, capable of illuminating the night and dispelling evil spirits. Garnet was often used to lift depression and to rid people of bad dreams. Physically, demantoid garnet is thought to help alleviate symptoms of arthritis, varicose veins, backache, liver disorders and prevent hemorrhages. Garnet is the stone for Aquarius and the official birthstone for January. In addition, it is the 2nd marriage anniversary stone. Garnet is also considered the planetary stone for Mars, Mercury and Pluto.

Disclaimer: Metaphysical and Alternative Crystal Healing Powers and Properties are not to be taken as confirmed advice. Traditional, Ceremonial and Mythological Gemstone Lore is collected from various resources and is not the sole opinion of SETT Co., Ltd. This information is not to replace the advice of your doctor. Should you have any medical conditions, please see a licensed medical practitioner. GemSelect does not guarantee any claims or statements of healing or astrological birthstone powers and cannot be held liable under any circumstances.

Demantoid Garnet Gemstone and Jewelry Design Ideas

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Demantoid garnet is used in all types of jewelry and suitable for any design with regard to hardness and durability. It has excellent hardness, brilliance and fire which makes it ideal for use in exquisite ring designs. You may also find demantoid garnet used in necklaces, bracelets, brooches, pins and pendants. Demantoid is typically very expensive and extremely rare, so it is not a garnet that will likely be found on the shelf at your local retail jewelry store.

Anniversary and eternity bands often utilize demantoid gemstones since garnet is the 2nd year wedding anniversary gemstone. Demantoid may also be found in many traditional birthstone jewelry designs. Demantoid garnet is also an excellent alternative for expensive green emerald. Since demantoid is typically untreated, it is commonly worn in planetary and astrological jewelry.

Note: Buy colored gemstones by size and not by carat weight. Colored stones vary in size-to-weight ratio. Some stones are larger and others are smaller than diamond by weight in comparison.

Demantoid Garnet Gemstone and Jewelry Care and Cleaning

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How to clean your gemstonesDemantoid garnet can be cleaned using warm water and a mild soap or detergent . You can wipe down your stones with a plain soft cloth or brush. After wiping, be sure to rinse your gems and jewelry well to ensure all soapy residue is removed. Avoid extreme heat, as extreme temperature fluctuations can cause fracturing. Ultrasonic cleaners are not considered safe for demantoid garnet. Steamers should also be avoided, as well as any harsh household chemicals and cleaners, including bleach or hydrofluoric acid, as chemicals can cause corrosion.

Although demantoid garnet is quite durable, it is still recommended that any jewelry is removed before engaging in vigorous physical activities, such as exercise or sports. When removing jewelry, do not pull from the stone as this can weaken prongs, eventually leading to a lost stone. When storing demantoid garnet gemstones, wrap them in a soft cloth or place them inside a fabric-lined jewelry box.

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