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Spessartite Garnet Prices
The rarer garnets -- tsavorite, spessartite, demantoid and color-change -- are among the most important of all colored gemstones. They combine very good hardness with excellent brilliance and sparkle. The fact that garnet is almost always completely natural and untreated makes it especially attractive to collectors.
|12.16 ct Spessartite
$2,000 / ct
|6.65 ct Spessartite
$1,000 / ct
|5.07 ct Spessartite
$670 / ct
|7.73 ct Spessartite
$210 / ct
The vivid orange or reddish orange garnet is known as spessartite or spessartine, with the name derived from Spessart, Bavaria in Germany where the mineral was first discovered. The bright yellowish orange color is sometimes referred to as mandarin garnet, though this is a trade name, not a gemological name. Today most spessartite originates from Africa.
|Spessartite Garnet Rough, Nigeria|
By chemical composition, spessartite is a manganese aluminum silicate and it is manganese that gives this gem its distinctive orange color. Spessartite is one of the ideochromatic gems, meaning it is colored by a fundamental element in its composition, rather than by impurities. If spessartite is mixed with almandine garnet -- the garnet variety containing iron -- it will tend towards more of a reddish-orange.
Prices on spessartite garnet vary according to quality and size. The main quality factors are color and clarity. The saturated pure orange is the rarest and most valuable, with prices ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 per carat depending on size. The bright yellowish-orange is the second most valuable color, with prices in the range of $750 to $1,200 per carat. The golden-orange and reddish-orange colors are generally less expensive, with prices generally from $200 to $700 per carat for clean and well cut stones.
Smaller spessartites (under 2 carats) and gems with some eye visible inclusions are less expensive, even in the better colors. So fine spessartite is still quite affordable, especially in smaller sizes. High quality stones over 5 carats are rare and collectible.
Prior to 1990, spessartite was a rare gem indeed. That changed in 1991 when high grade material was discovered in northwestern Namibia. In 1999 a much larger find was made in Nigeria. That deposit produced a small number of very fine gems, but top grade stones are no longer found. There are also spessartite deposits in Mozambique and Madagascar, but very little new material of the highest grade has been found.