Jewels from the Woods

spessartite garnet

Spessartite Garnet
Spessartite Garnet – Nigeria, Mozambique, Tanzania
Spessartite Garnet is one of the rarest and most beautiful of the garnet family and is defined by it’s bright orange color, and high refractive index. Spessartite garnet comes in varying shades of orange; from red orange, to pure orange, to bright florescent yellow orange. The brighter shades of orange have also been called “Mandarin Garnet”, a trade name adopted in recent years in reference to the color of the gem not it’s origin. There have been various discoveries of gem quality spessartite garnet deposits over the years. Notably in Africa – Madagascar (this was the source of the first bright yellow orange spessartite garnets to be called “Mandarin Garnet”), Nigeria (the source for some of the finest, largest, and cleanest bright orange “Mandarin Garnet”), Mozambique (known for producing a wider range of orange colors from red orange, to burnt orange, to bright pure orange), and most recently in Tanzania (known for producing bright, almost florescent yellow “Fanta Orange” colors). These are generally discovered as alluvial deposits, (material that has been weathered out from the host rock, collected and deposited in ancient river beds), that are generally very limited in size and often mined out very quickly once they are discovered. There has been virtually no new rough spessartite garnet on the market in recent years from either the Nigerian or Mozambique sources and it now appears that the Tanzanian deposits have also been depleted. We do however still have an excellent, but dwindling, stock of Spessartite Garnet on hand, from the bright Mandarin orange Nigerian stones to the intense red orange Mozambique material. We are also just starting to work from a parcel of the new “Fanta” orange spessartite from Tanzania, select material acquired during the peak production period two years ago. This is truly a gem worth owning and enjoying, and due to it’s beauty, rarity, and popularity, is a material that is sure to increase in value over the years.