Mali Garnet Gemstone Information

 
 
In 1994, in the country of Mali, Africa, a unique yellow-green to yellow brown garnet was discovered. It is principally Andradite, mixed with some Grossular. Later, in the last year of the 20th century large Grossularite occurrences were discovered in Mali.  These Mali Garnets are desirable because of their high brilliance, which makes even the usually not so popular brown color attractive and vivid, and the natural appeal is in wonderful harmony especially with ethno-look inspired trends. There are square, pear, trillion, cabochon, round, emerald cut, oval, cushion, and heart shaped cut mali garnets in many green color nuances, from a bright yellow green to almost honey green.

The prices and value of Mali Garnet can vary tremendously, depending on the size and quality of the gemstone. AJS Gems is your source for the highest quality Mali Garnet and many other precious colored stones from across the globe, available at Bangkok direct wholesale prices. Creating the finest jewelry starts with finding the best gemstones, and the best gemstones are found at AJS Gems.


 
Why Buy Loose Gemstones Instead of Pre-Set Jewelry?
 
There are many reasons, but mainly it comes down to value and choice...

When buying your gemstone loose instead of a pre-set stone, you can be sure that you are getting the best value for your money.  Loose gemstones are less expensive, a better value, and you can really see what you are paying for.  The most important part of getting the right price and finding the best value is to first see what you're getting.  A jewelry setting will hide the inclusions inside a gem, and can deepen or brighten its color.  With a loose stone you can much more easily inspect the gem and see it for what it really is.  In this way you can get a better idea of its true worth and be sure you are paying a fair price.

The second advantage of buying a loose gemstone is choice.  You are free to pick the exact color, cut, shape and variety of the stone for the setting of your dreams, be it yellow gold, white gold, platinum or silver; prong set or bezel set with diamond accents.  You can experience the joy of creating your very own, one-of-a-kind jewelry design. Choose from a variety of jewelry settings and styles to create a completely original presentation that will perfectly suit your individual gemstone and will be as unique as you are!

   Mali garnet jewelry

 

Attributes

Origin Mali, Africa
Color yellowish green, yellow green, honey green, yellow, orange, brown
Refractive Index 1.72 - 1.75
Chemical Composition Ca3Al2(SiO4)3
Hardness 7
Density 3.65
Crystal Structure Cubic
 
There are two main theoretical groups or "families" of garnet:- pyrope, almandite, spessartite, which are all (metal) aluminium silicates, and uvarovite, grossularite, andradite, which are all calcium (metal) silicates.  In practice, there are probably very few garnets with the precise pure chemical composition shown for their type, almost all garnets are of mixed types, where one type is partially replaced by another type.

Garnets as a group are relatively common in highly metamorphosed rocks and in some igneous formations. They form under the high temperatures and/or pressures that those types of rocks must endure. Garnets can be used by geologists as a gauge of how much temperature and pressure the rock has endured. Garnets are greatly variable in colors and varieties, though, and many of these are both rare and beautiful, producing genuinely precious gemstones. Some garnets are truly unique in the mineral kingdom and have much to offer as both gemstones and mineral specimens.

The general formula for most of the garnets is A3B2(SiO4)3. The A represents divalent metals such as calcium, iron, magnesium and/or manganese. The B represents trivalent metals such as aluminum, chromium, iron and/or manganese and in the rarer garnets; vanadium, titanium, zirconium and/or silicon. The general formula for a couple of rarer garnets (hibschite and katoite) is A3B2(SiO4)3-X(OH)4X. The main differences in physical properties among the members of the garnet group are slight variations in color, density and index of refraction.
 
Most gems have a crystalline structure. Crystals have planes of symmetry and are divided into seven symmetry systems. The number of axes, their length, and their angle to each other determine the system to which a crystal belongs. Garnets are isostructural, meaning that they share the same crystal structure. This leads to similar crystal shapes and properties. Garnets belong to the isometric crystal class, which produces very symmetrical, cube-based crystals. The most common crystal shape for garnets however is the rhombic dodecahedron, a twelve sided crystal with diamond-shaped (rhombic) faces. This basic shape is the trademark of garnets, for no other crystal shape is so closely associated with a single mineral group like the rhombic dodecahedron is with garnets.

Most garnets are red in color, leading to the erroneous belief that all garnets are red. In fact a few varieties, such as grossular, can have a wide range of colors, and uvarovite is always a bright green. As a mineral specimen, garnets usually have well shaped and complex crystals and their color and luster can make for a very beautiful addition to a collection.
 
 
What makes Mali Garnet gemstones so special?

Besides its wonderful colors, Mali Garnet has additional advantages which make it a truly unique and valuable gemstone. There is its hardness of 7, making it suitable for any piece of jewelry. Additionally these gemstones have a remarkably high refraction of light, giving it an exceptional brilliance. Even in unfavorable lighting conditions small, well cut Mali garnets will sparkle vividly. The refractive index (RI), measured using a refractometer, is an indication of the amount light rays are bent by a mineral.  Birefringence is the difference between the minimum and maximum RI. When birefringence is high, light rays reflect off different parts of the back of a stone causing an apparent doubling of the back facets when viewed through the front facet.  Mali garnet is singly refractive and has no birefringence.


Color 

Mali Garnet ranges in color from bright yellow green to almost honey green. It is a combination of Andradite and Grossular garnet found only in Mali, Africa.   Mint green or yellowish green stones are most valued; prices per carat for Mali garnet increase noticeably with weight.


Cut
 
Mali Garnet are usually cut similar to other colored stones, with ovals, cushions, trillions and emerald cuts being most common. Other popular Mali Garnet shapes include rounds, marquises, briolettes, hearts and pears. The lack of pleochroism means that orientation is not a problem and the equidimensional shape of the rough generally provides good yields from rough to cut. Cabochon-cut Mali Garnets are rare.

Treatments

Mali Garnet gemstones, like most garnets, are generally not treated.
 

Sources

The name, Mali, is based on the country where the specimens are mined in West Africa. It was discovered in 1994 and Mali is still the only known source. This previously unknown gem is brilliant, highly dispersive, yellow to yellow-green, or brown. Gemological study has proven that the new gem's composition is intermediate between that of grossular, (calcium aluminum silicate,) and andradite, (calcium iron silicate.) Although Mali garnets are predominantly grossularite, the variable admixture of andradite changes its characteristics in at least one important way. The hybrid, Mali, seems to favor its grossular parent in terms of refractive index, (1.77 in most specimens,) and hardness, but derives its superb dispersion from its andradite heritage.
 
Most rough is mined from alluvial deposits and shows the rounded, water worn shape typical of that source. A great deal of material was produced the year following its discovery. The popularity of this pretty stone soared and prices were initially very high, but soon began to drop off. In recent years, much smaller amounts have been produced which has resulted in an increase in price. As large size rough is rare in this variety, price per carat increases dramatically with size.
 

Mythology
 
Throughout time, there have been many ancient traditions and legends about the gemstone garnet...

Garnets have been known to Man for thousands of years. Noah, it is said, used a finely cut, glowing garnet within a lantern to help him steer his ark through the dark night.

Many an early explorer and traveler liked to carry a garnet with him, for the garnet was popular as a talisman and protective stone, as it was believed to light up the night and protect its bearer from evil and disaster.

The name “garnet” comes from the Latin word “Garanatus,” meaning “seedlike,” in reference to a pomegranate. This reference makes sense as small garnets look like the bright red seeds you find inside in a pomegranate.

In medieval times, garnets were thought to cure depression, protect against bad dreams, and relieve diseases of the liver, as well as hemorrhages.

Hebrew writers include the garnet as one of the twelve gems in Aaron’s breastplate.

Christian tradition considered the blood-red garnet as a symbol of Christ’s sacrifice.

The Koran holds that the garnet illuminates the Fourth Heaven of the Moslems.

The Greeks said garnet guarded children from drowning. It was also thought to be potent against poisons.

Garnets were found as beads in a necklace worn by a young man in a grave that dates back to 3000 B.C. This is proof of the hardness and durability of the stone.

Plato had his portrait engraved on a garnet by a Roman engraver.

Garnet is the Birthstone for the month of January and the stone that celebrates the 2nd anniversary of marriage.
 

 

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