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Introduction to Spessartite "Mandarin" Garnet

aigs ArjunaIrsuttiPhotography Asia Lounges blog color color type east africa fanta garnet gem gemological laboratory gemstome Gemstone introduction to gemology Jeffery L Bergman Josh Saltzman loliondo mahenge mandarin mandarin garnet merelani Natural Gems origin Photography rough Simon Dussart spessartite SSEF tanzania Tsavorite

Dark reds, tangerine orange, vivid lime green, soft pink, garnet is all these colors and more. There are garnets that change color in different light, translucent green garnets that look like jade, garnets with stars, garnets that have been mined for thousands of years and garnets that were just discovered in the last decade. Garnets are fairly hard and durable gemstones that are ideal for jewelry use.


Here is an example of one of the nicest "Mandarin" garnets we have seen - Asia Lounges Collection - Video by Arjuna Irsutti Photography


One garnet growing in popularity is a recently discovered garnet from Africa, which is a bright orange spessartite. It is called Mandarin garnet because its color is a true orange. Hessonite and spessarite garnets mostly come in golds and oranges and browns that are sometimes called cinnamon garnets.


Get your own Cinnamon Garnet sugarloaf now!

Example of Cinnamon Garnet Sugarloaf - Asia Lounges Collection - Photo by Arjuna Irsutti Photography


The mining of the new mandarin garnet is extremely difficult. The nearest water supply is many hours away by truck. The gem often occurs in strata that curves into a mountain. The surface stones are weathered, dull, and included. As miners follow the strata down the mountain, they get involved in hard rock mining. This is where the gems are brighter, cleaner, and purer in color.

Typically, smaller stones tend to be much lighter orange than the larger gems. The hottest demand is for gems in the one to three carat range. Top color, clean and well cut examples of over 5 carats are very difficult to find and considered a prize collector gem. There is no other colored stone that exceeds this orange gem in brilliance. It also looks like a top quality orange sapphire but costs much less.


Example of a top 5 cts mandarin garnet

Example of a fine 5 carats + Mandarin Garnet - Asia Lounges Collection - Photo by Arjuna Irsutti Photography


Mine production of this exquisite gemstone had dropped considerably. At the same time worldwide demand has soared. Prices are starting to go up so now is an excellent time to add this dazzling gem to your own private cache.

To choose a fine mandarin garnet for yourself, look for a pure and intense orange with no brown overtones. Select a clean and well cut stone and you will own a gem suitable for a stunning pendant or ring. Where it with pride and joy knowing you own one of the rarest and most beautiful examples of the garnet family.


©Jeffery L Bergman, SSEF SGC

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