GarnetsGarnets

Almandine & Pyrope Pyrope garnet Almandine garnet

Almandine and pyrope garnets are often confused with each other as they are so similar.  There are scientific gemmological means to differentiate one from the other, but essentially they are the same stone that varies in shade due to variable amounts of their colouring molecules.  As an over simplification of the complex relationships within the garnet family, we at O’Neils Affiliated list our reddish shaded garnets under the one category of almandine garnet.  The shades of almandine we stock range in colour from the darker brownish red tones (also referred to as pyrope) through to the lighter coloured brownish-orange tones with all the variable shades in between. Although almandine is found worldwide, some notable countries that mine almandine are; South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Madagascar, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Myanmar (Burma), Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Czech Republic (Bohemia), Russia, Pakistan, India and Canada.


Mohs’ Hardness: 7-7.5
Specific Gravity: 3.65-4.30
Refractive Index: 1.730-1.830
Birefringence: N.A.
Optic Sign & Character: Isotropic
ICA Code: N
Treatments: None
Incidence: N/A
Purpose: N/A
Durability: Good
Detection: N/A
Special Care: Normal care
Synthetics: None
Imitations: Synthetic Corundum, CZ and Glass


Rhodolite Rhodolite garnet

Rhodolite was named after the mountain rhododendron, a magenta coloured flower that grew in the mountains of North Carolina, USA where the first rhodolite was found in 1882.  Gemmologically, rhodolite is the variety of garnet that sits in the middle of the pyrope-almandine solid solution series; meaning that rhodolite is roughly composed of around equal amounts of both pyrope and almandine type garnet.  The colour of rhodolite varies from pale rose-red with inclinations of purple reminiscent of the flower from which it was named, through to grape purples with secondary tones of intense rose-red.  Unfortunately, the original deposit has long been depleted.  Currently rhodolite is being mined in Tanzania, India (Orissa), Sri Lanka, Malawi, Brazil, Madagascar, Mozambique and Kenya.   Like with all other garnets, there are no recognised treatments and synthetics are are not commercially produced.


Mohs’ Hardness: 6.5-7.5
Specific Gravity: 3.79-3.95
Refractive Index: 1.745-1.780
Birefringence: N.A.
Optic Sign & Character: Isotropic
ICA Code: N
Treatments: None
Incidence: N/A
Purpose: N/A
Durability: Good
Detection: N/A
Special Care: Normal care
Synthetics: None
Possible Imitations: Synthetic Quartz, Synthetic Corundum, CZ and Glass