Spessartine gemstone

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Physical properties of spessartine

Hardness: 7-7.5 out of 10 on the Mohs scale
Luster: glassy, greasy
Transparency: transparent, semi-transparent
Color: pink, brown, red, red-orange, orange-yellow, yellow-brown

Characteristics of spessartine

Gemstone spessartine (spessartite, mandarin garnet, malaya, emildine, espessandite) is one of the finest and most beautiful gemstones. But the name spessartine itself is not so popular, and often these stones are simply called garnets, although in fact spessartine is only one of the varieties of the garnet gemstone. Spessartine got its name from the Spessart area in Germany, where it was first discovered. It was named so by the French mineralogist F. Bedan.

Spessartine. Gemstone. Faceted stone, rough crystal, spessartine ring

In general, the characteristic color for spessartine is orange-yellow, similar to the color of tangerines, which is why spessartine is also called "tangerine garnet". Although spessartines can also be of other colors - bright red (such stones got their separate name - spessandite, and they are very similar to another variety of garnets - almandines), reddish-brown, orange-red (this is a transitional form from spessartine to pyrope, and it is even sometimes distinguished into a separate variety of pomegranate, which received its name - malaya, by the way, is very valuable among all spessartines).

Spessartine, like other varieties of garnets, has good hardness and is highly valued by jewelers. Also, this gemstone is loved by mineral collectors. However, it is not found so often, and its large deposits have not been found at all to date.

The best spessartine stones suitable for jewelry processing are found in Brazil and Madagascar. Spessartines are also found in Germany, Norway, Sweden, Tanzania and Kenya (where Malaya spessartines come from), South Africa (where they find a unique variety of spessartine - emildin), Australia, India, Sri Lanka, USA, Canada, Mexico, China and Russia. Nevertheless, the total number of spessartines found is small, and jewelry with spessartines can be found not so often in jewelry stores.

But often enough large crystals of spessartine are found. True, they usually have cracks and contain various inclusions, because of which, in the end, it is necessary to crush the crystals into small pieces, and therefore faceted stones are small - from 5 to 10 carats. But the Smithsonian has beautiful large spessartine from Brazil weighing 109 and 54 carats (red), and spessartine from Madagascar weighing 30 carats (orange). The American Museum of Natural History holds a 96-carat spessartine.

Spessartine stones are often similar to other varieties of garnet gemstone - almandines, grossulars and andradites. Also, spessartines can be confused with tourmalines, zircons and titanites similar in color.

How much does spessartine cost

Spessartine has good quality characteristics and is highly rated. The price of orange spessartines is $80-$100 per carat. Red-brown spessartines are priced lower - $20-$35 per carat.

Onyx gemstone
See also: Rubellite gemstone
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