The Dynamic Earth View Multimedia Version

Main Menu  >  GeoGallery  >  Gems  >  Garnet  >  Spessartine (Garnet Family)
TITLE: GeoGallery

Spessartine (Garnet Family)

Spessartine is the manganese-rich member of the garnet family and is typically colored yellowish to reddish orange. Spessartine gems can be quite beautiful, but they are not commonly seen in jewelry because the supplies are limited. The major sources for gem quality spessartine are Sri Lanka and Brazil. Other localities include Australia, Burma, India, Israel, Madagascar, Zambia, Nigeria and the United States. In the early 1970s pinkish to reddish or yellowish orange garnets were discovered in Tanzania that are intermediate in composition between spessartine and pyrope (red garnet). They are called Malaia garnets and found some popularity in the gem markets. Spessartine that is orange-yellow and found in Madagascar is called Mandarin garnet. This vivid cabochon-cut spessartine garnet is from a new find in Zambia and its intense yellowish-orange color is unlike any other spessartine in the National Gem Collection.

Image Number: Ken Larsen
Catalog Number: G10580
Weight: 19.77 carats
Gift of Edward Boehm , 2008
Locality: Lundazi Mine , Zambia


bottom navigation bar


Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Mineral Sciences website Credits