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By Reviewed By Andreas Zabczyk

Spessartite Garnet: The Best Orange Garnet, A Detailed Guide

Examples of Natural Spessartite Garnet
Natural Spessartite Garnet

Spessartite Garnet - Introduction and History

Spessartite garnet, with its fiery orange-red hues and lustrous sparkle, is the embodiment of the sun captured in a gemstone.

Spessartite garnet is an orange to red-brown gemstone that belongs to the large and varied garnet species of gems. The garnet group can be classified into two primary classes; pyrospites (aluminum) and ugandites (calcium) garnets.

The name, "spessartine" comes from the Bavarian word, "Spessart", meaning "forest", which is a mountain range in Germany where spessartine garnet deposits were found in the 1880s.

Spessartite garnet was not often seen in jewelry until deposits were mined in Namibia and Mozambique in the 1990s. Spessartite with intense yellow-orange color are often traded as 'Mandarin garnet'. Mandarin garnet is famed for its fiery color and its wonderful brilliance.

The spessartine garnet species includes a variety of garnet gemstones, including rare color-change garnet and a hybrid garnet known as Malaya garnet (or Malaia).

Color-change garnet is extremely rare and is highly prized for its ability to change color when viewed using differing light sources. Color-change garnet is typically a hybrid too, a mix of spessartite and pyrope garnet.

Spessartite Garnet: Topical Coverage

Natural Spessartite Garnet
Natural Spessartite Garnet

Key Highlights of Spessartite Garnet

  • Mineral Composition: Spessartite is a type of garnet, specifically a manganese aluminum silicate.
  • Color Range: Known for its vibrant orange to reddish-orange hues.
  • Hardness: Ranks 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, making it durable for jewelry.
  • Clarity: Typically has some minor visible inclusions, eye-clean stones are quite rare.
  • Occurrence: Found in various parts of the world including Nigeria, Brazil, and Madagascar.
  • Popular Cuts: Usually cut into traditional shapes such as octagon or oval to maximize color.
  • Metaphysical Properties: Believed to bring confidence and creativity to the wearer.
  • Market Value: Highly valued for its rarity and vivid coloration.
  • Care: Best cleaned with warm soapy water and a soft brush.
  • Use in Jewelry: Popular in rings, earrings, and pendants.

Identifying Spessartite Garnet

Spessartite garnet can be identified by its orange color. Garnet in general can be distinguished from other gem types by its occurrence in metamorphic rock, its hardness (6.5 - 7.5 on the Mohs scale), color, 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. Spessartite garnet can be distinguished from other garnet types by its high range of magnetic susceptibility (SI).

Spessartite Garnet; Origin and Sources

Spessartite garnet deposits are found in Burma (Myanmar), Brazil, China, Kenya, Madagascar, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Tanzania and the USA. The most desirable gemstones come from Namibia and are known as "mandarin spessartite".

Spessartite Garnet Gemological Properties

Characteristics Values
Chemical Formula: Mn3Al2(SiO4)3 Manganese aluminum silicate
Crystal Structure: Cubic; rhombic dodecahedron, icositetrahedron
Color: Orange, orangey-yellow, red-brown
Hardness: 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale
Refractive Index: 1.790 to 1.820
Density: 4.12 to 4.18
Cleavage: Indistinct
Transparency: Transparent, translucent
Double Refraction or Birefringence: Usually none
Luster: Vitreous
Fluorescence: Mainly none

Spessartite Garnet: Related or Similar Gemstones

As a member of the garnet family, spessartite is related to the other garnets, such as andradite garnets (melanite, demantoid and topazolite), almandine garnets, pyrope garnets (rhodolite), grossularite garnets (hydrogrossular, hessonite, leuco garnet and tsavorite) and uvarovite.

Spessartite garnet can sometimes be confused with hessonite garnet, but due to low levels of iron in hessonite, an N-52 magnet can be used to tell the difference between the two garnet varieties. Hessonite is not attracted to the magnet whereas spessartite is.

Spessartite can sometimes be confused with other gemstones such as andalusite, chrysoberyl, fire opal, sphene and topaz.

Spessartite Garnet Gemstone Mythology, Metaphysical and Healing Powers

Garnet has long been thought of as a travelers' 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.

In particular, spessartite garnet is said to provide its wearer with analytical and creative abilities, strength of heart and the eagerness to assist others. Physically, spessartite garnet is thought to benefit the reproductive system, the kidneys, bladder and the appetite.

The healing powers of spessartite garnet are said to be good for clear communication, self-confidence and for willingness to make changes and experience new things.

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 does not represent 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.

Spessartite Garnet Gemstone and Jewelry Design Ideas

Spessartite garnet has a good level of brilliance and an attractive vitreous luster, so when set with white or yellow precious metals, the results can be fantastic. Spessartite can be used as a statement gemstone or it can be mixed with other colored gemstones for a cascade of colors such as in Dior's "Dentelle Opale d'Orient" bracelet.

Spessartite is often seen mixed with diamonds or other colorless gemstones such as white sapphire or white topaz. Emerald or other green gemstones such as deep forest-green chrome diopside provide a wonderful contrast for spessartite garnet, as seen in Bulgari jewelry designs.

Like all garnet varieties, spessartite garnet is perfectly suitable for all types of jewelry; including daily-wear spessartite garnet rings. Garnet gemstones are quite hard and considered to be very durable, especially when compared to many other types of gemstones used in the jewelry available today, such as opal or turquoise for example.

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 diamonds by weight in comparison.

Famous Spessartite Garnet Gemstones

  • American jewelry designer, Mark Schneider, received the JCK Jeweler's Choice Award 2008 for his gent's spessartite garnet ring.
  • Spessartite garnet is one of the gemstones used in Cartier's "L'Odysee de Cartier Parcours d'un Style" collection. One panther bracelet features a 63.55 carat spessartite cabochon.
  • Master lapidarist, Buzz Gray and jewelry designer, Bernadine Johnston have created a series of gemstone butterfly brooches that are exhibited in LA's Natural History Museum. The "spessartine butterfly" and "spessartine and benitoite" butterflies feature spessartite garnet gemstones from California.
  • A spessartite garnet and gold necklace was sold at a 2013 Bonhams auction in Los Angeles for $62,500. The spessartite cabochons in the necklace amounted to approximately 382 carats in total and came from Tanzania.
  • Actress, Emma Stone wore a pair of spessartite garnet earrings at the 2011 MTV Movie Awards.

Spessartite Garnet Gemstone Jewelry Care and Cleaning

Proper care for spessartite garnets includes protecting them from hard blows, which could damage them. To clean your spessartite 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.

Always remove any jewelry or gemstones before exercising, cleaning or engaging in harsh physical activities such as sport. Store spessartite garnets away from other gemstones to avoid scratches. It is best to wrap gemstones in soft cloth or place them inside a fabric-lined jewelry box.

Spessartite Garnets
Spessartite Garnets

Spessartite Garnet Price

Like other gemstones, the price for this alluring reddish-orange gem depends mainly on the quality. Intenser colors, higher clarity, and the size of the carat will largely impact the cost of Spessartite.

That said, the general price of Spessartite can range from a mere $100 per carat to over $1,000.

Quality Size (Carat) Approximate Price Range (per carat)
Low 0.5 - 1.0 $25 - $50
Medium 1.0 - 2.0 $50 - $300
High 2.0 - 3.0 $300 - $800
Very High 3.0+ $800+

Spessartite Garnet Value

Spessartite Garnets were once highly regarded and incredibly rare gemstones. Recent discoveries of top-tier Spessartite in large quantities in countries like Namibia and Nigeria have made the gems more readily available and, thus, not as rare as they once were.

With that in mind, Spessartite is still regarded as a valuable gemstone. However, the color and clarity ultimately reflect their value.

Mandarin Spessartite Garnets are undeniably the most valuable of the bunch. These gemstones, mined in Mozambique and Namibia, are known for their energetic, bright orange shade with few inclusions. Behind these are the yellow-orange varieties, followed by the more common - yet still striking - reddish-orange Spessartite.

Aside from color, another factor that enhances the value of a Spessartite is its clarity. Spessartite is widely known for having inclusions. That said, Spessartite with no inclusions is of higher value as they are rarer.

Spessartite Garnet Benefits

While many consumers desire the Spessartite Garnet for its enchanting orange hue, others reach for this attractive gemstone for its seemingly endless supply of benefits for the mind, body, and spirit.

Here are a few of the benefits associated with this sensational gemstone:

Transformation

Spessartite is known for being a vigorous stone that attracts manifestation. As such, it's the idyllic stone for those seeking to transform into a better version of themselves. This stone can potentially increase confidence, improve strength, and build endurance.

Creativity

Perhaps due to its vibrant and exotic orange hue, Spessartite is also the gemstone believed to be associated with lighting a "fire" in the creative realm. Wearers notice a sudden spark to be more creative, stepping outside the traditional box and letting their artistic side soar.

Happiness and Peace

On the emotional healing spectrum, Spessartite Garnet is known to be a powerful gem that can uncover feelings of happiness and peace. It works to stave off negative emotions, especially those of guilt or shame, replacing them with overall self-acceptance and worthiness.

Protection

Spessartite Garnet, the potent, orange-hued gemstone it is, is often thought of as a shield for all who adorn it. It has the power to not only fend off negative energy and danger but can also help to rid the mind of fear and worries.

Reproductive Health

Spessartite Garnet's power extends to the area of reproductive health. It is said that Spessartite Garnets can improve reproductive systems, which can be highly beneficial for those struggling to procreate.

Digestive Health

Finally, Spessartite Garnets can support the overall digestive system, creating a healthier and fully functional digestion. It can alleviate specific digestive issues, eliminate toxins, and fend off food intolerances.

Spessartite Garnets Spiritual Meaning

This fiery gemstone is associated with an array of spiritual meanings, including:

  • Sacral Chakra Activation - Spessartite Garnets have long been the gemstone sought for balancing the Sacral Chakra, the chakra located in the lower abdomen responsible for creativity and emotional resilience.
  • Fire Element - Perhaps due to its blazing aesthetic, the Spessartite Garnet is frequently associated with fire elements. Thus, wearers may notice an inner fire emerge, especially in the areas of energy and transformation.
  • Manifestation - Touted as a "channel to manifestation," wearers often experience an easier and swifter time achieving their desires through manifestation while wearing Spessartite.
  • Protection - Many spiritualists believe that the Spessartite Garnet has the vigor to ward off harmful spirits and energies that can otherwise negatively impact one's life and well-being.
  • Spiritual Growth - Those seeking to transform their mind, body, and soul to reach a higher realm of consciousness may find Spessartite a helpful gemstone.
  • Grounding - Finally, with mental clarity and emotional balance, one can ground oneself easily and connect with nature on a deeper level.

Spessartite Garnet Color

Most Spessartite Garnets exude a gorgeous red-orange shade that is impossibly rich and warm. This is the trademark shade for Spessartite Garnets and the most widely available option.

However, Spessartite Garnets can also showcase other colors as well.

For example, Spessartite Garnets can exhibit a delectably pure orange shade with minimal inclusions. This Spessartite, a Mandarin Spessartite, is the rarest, liveliest, and most beautiful of the Spessartite Garnet family.

The amount of iron impurities can also affect the overall shade of the gemstone. Higher traces will display more reddish and brown hues that combine beautifully with the delectable orange shade of Spessartite Garnets. Fewer traces may produce a yellowish tint.

Spessartite Garnet Pronunciation

The pronunciation for Spessartite Garnet is done as follows:

  • Spes-sar-tite, or spess-ar-tite
  • Gar-net

Together, the word is pronounced "Spess-Ar-Tite Gar-Net."

Spessartite Garnet Etymology

The Spessartite Garnet was named after the origin of the gemstone: Spessart, Germany, a wooded mountainous region found within the country.

Spessartite Alternate Names

Spessartite Garnets are almost always referred to as that - Spessartite. However, because of their striking orange hue, they are sometimes simply called "Orange Garnets."

If the color is vividly bright orange with few inclusions and less red tinting, it is known as a Mandarin Garnet.

Sometimes, Spessartite Garnets are named based on their origins. For example, they may be African Spessartite (from Namibia, Mozambique, and Nigeria), Madagascar Spessartite, Colorado Spessartite, etc.

Spessartite Garnet Ring

Spessartite Garnet rings can be a glorious addition to any jewelry cabinet. The gemstone is not only a brilliant shade of orange, but it is unwavering in its durability - creating a long-lasting accessory you'll want to wear time and time again.

Aside from its magnificent beauty and strength, wearing a Spessartite Garnet ring can bring a wealth of positive benefits. From increased confidence and creativity to protection and health, Spessartite Garnet rings are more than just an eye-catching accessory to decorate your fingers.

FAQs

Are Spessartite Garnets valuable?

Spessartite Garnets are semi-precious gemstones that are relatively valuable. The value depends on color intensity, clarity, and carat weight. The more intense the orange shade, the fewer inclusions, and the higher the carat weight, the more valuable the stone.

Spessartite or Spessartine?

Spessartite and Spessartine are the same thing in the realm of gemology, and both names can be used to identify the reddish-orange, majestic gemstone.

What is the difference between Spessartite and Spessartine Garnet?

There are no differences between Spessartite and Spessartine Garnets. Both names refer to the exact, prized reddish-orange gemstone.

What is the quality of spessartite garnet?

Spessartite Garnets are known for being of commendable high quality. They are semi-precious gemstones that are incredibly durable and vigorous. Aside from that, they are robust and beautiful gemstones that can last a relatively long time.

Is Spessartite Garnet rare?

Spessartite Garnets are somewhat rare, especially compared to other types of garnets. However, the rarest Spessartite Garnet is the Mandarin Garnet, an impossibly bright orange garnet with few inclusions.

What are the powers of Spessartite?

Spessartite is a relatively powerful gemstone that can transform a person's life, inside and out. It can help alleviate digestive and reproductive issues while enhancing manifestation abilities. It improves confidence levels, sparks creativity, and otherwise ignites a passion for living one's best and most authentic life.

Spessartite Garnet vs Other Gemstones

Spessartite Garnet vs Orange Citrine

Characteristics Spessartite Garnet Orange Citrine
Mineral Composition Manganese Aluminum Silicate Quartz (SiO2)
Color Range Orange to Reddish-Orange Yellow to Orange
Hardness (Mohs Scale) 7 - 7.5 7
Clarity Typically has some minor inclusions Usually Transparent
Occurrence Nigeria, Brazil, Madagascar Brazil, Madagascar, Bolivia
Popular Cuts Round, Oval Round, Oval, Emerald
Metaphysical Properties Confidence, Creativity Prosperity, Joy
Market Value High Moderate
Care Warm Soapy Water Warm Soapy Water
Use in Jewelry Rings, Earrings, Pendants Rings, Earrings, Pendants

Spessartite Garnet vs Orange Sapphire

Characteristics Spessartite Garnet Orange Sapphire
Mineral Composition Manganese Aluminum Silicate Corundum (Al2O3)
Color Range Orange to Reddish-Orange Yellow-Orange to Red-Orange
Hardness (Mohs Scale) 7 - 7.5 9
Clarity Typically has some minor inclusions Varies, Usually Transparent
Occurrence Nigeria, Brazil, Madagascar Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Australia
Popular Cuts Round, Oval Round, Oval, Cushion
Metaphysical Properties Confidence, Creativity Wisdom, Prosperity
Market Value High High
Care Warm Soapy Water Warm Soapy Water
Use in Jewelry Rings, Earrings, Pendants Rings, Earrings, Pendants

Final Thoughts

In the fascinating world of gemstones, Spessartite Garnet stands as a testament to nature's ability to create art. Its vivid hues of orange and red not only capture the eye but also the imagination, making it a gemstone that truly resonates with both gemstone enthusiasts and professional jewelers.

From its unique mineral composition to its rich historical lore, Spessartite Garnet offers a wealth of topics that pique interest and inspire further exploration.

Its durability and eye popping color make it an ideal choice for crafting exquisite jewelry pieces, from elegant rings to statement pendants. For jewelers, this gemstone offers a canvas of possibilities, allowing for creative expression and innovation in design.

But Spessartite Garnet is not just about aesthetic appeal and market value. It's a stone believed to inspire creativity and boost confidence, adding a layer of metaphysical intrigue to its already captivating profile. This makes it more than just a product; it becomes a story, a journey, and for some, a talisman.

As you delve deeper into the world of Spessartite Garnet, remember that each stone is a piece of Earth's legacy, waiting to be discovered, appreciated, and cherished. Whether you're a seasoned collector or a jeweler looking for the next trend, Spessartite Garnet offers a unique blend of qualities that are sure to generate more interest in this remarkable product.

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