Spessartine (Spessartite) is an orangey red. An impressive variety of the group was found in Nambiaa few years ago and was christened ‘Mandarin Garnet”. A similar find was subsequently made in Nigeria. This is one of the more pricey Garnets.



Spessartite garnet is colored by a fundamental element in its composition. That element is manganese, which produces an orange color. Take away the manganese, and it would no longer be spessartite. Thus spessartite has only one basic color – orange.

That said, the color may be modified slightly by mixing with iron, in the form of almandine. This produces a deeper, more reddish coloration. Spessartites occur in three basic flavors. There are the light and bright stones, which come from Nigeria, Ramona (CA) and the deeper reddish orange stones that also come from Nigeria. The most fabulous tangerine orange “mandarin” garnets coming from Namibia.

Spessartites from most sources are reasonably clean. Thus eye-clean stones are both desirable and possible. The exception is with the mandarin spessartites from Namibia, which often contain small colorless fibers of tirodite that give the stones a sleepy overall appearance. When only small amounts are present, the effect can be quite beautiful, masking extinction and allowing the beautiful tangerine orange color to shine completely across the entire face of the gem.

Spessartites are generally cut similar to other colored stones, with ovals, cushions, trillions and emerald cuts being most common. 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 spessartites are also seen on occasion, particularly with the Namibian mandarin spessartites, which tend to be more heavily included.


The prices of spessartite are, like any gem, dependent on quality, and we can make a few generalizations. Nigerian spessartites typically retail for $100–250/ct. in the smaller, 1–4 ct. range, while stones of 15–20 cts. may reach as much as $900/ct. at the retail level. Prices for the rare mandarin spessartites from Namibia are even higher, with smaller goods (1–2 cts.) fetching up to $800/ct. and fine stones above 5 cts. extending well above $1000/ct. Visit our dubai online shopping and we can assist you with the right information about the value of Spessartite and about any other gold stones.


Composition Spessartite garnet has the following composition:
Hardness (Mohs) 7 to 7.5
Specific Gravity 4.15 (+ 0.05; – 0.03)
Refractive Index 1.810 (+ 0.004; – 0.20)
Crystal System Isometric; usually occurs as massive pebbles or dodecahedra/icositetrahedra combinations
Colors Due to its ideochromatic nature, spessartite is always some shade of orange. The color is caused by manganese.
Pleochroism None
Dispersion 0.027
Phenomena Pyrope-spessartite mixed garnets containing vanadium have been found that display a dramatic green (daylight) to red (incandescent light) change of color. Such stones come from East Africa and Sri Lanka.
Handling Ultrasonic: generally safe, but risky if the gem contains liquid inclusions
Steamer: not safe
The best way to care for spessartite is to clean it with warm, soapy water. Avoid exposure to heat or acids.
Enhancements None
Synthetic available? No


Spessartine has been found at a number of localities around the world, including Brazil, Burma, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and the USA (San Diego County, CA and Amelia Court House, VA). Of these sources, the most important today are Nigeria and northeast Namibia, in the vicinity of the Marienfluss River. Gem Spessartine has never been synthesized, but a number of imitations exist, including natural stones such as hessonite garnet, and man-made imitations such as glass.


The name of Spessartine or other word for it “Imperial Garnet:, takes its name from the Spessart district of Bavaria, and is a magnesium aluminum silicate. Spessartine Garnet utilizes the colors of the sun for its healing rays, in shades of dark gold, orange, scarlet, and red. There are a host of Angels attracted to these shades, and Gem Spessartine is used to honor three Goddesses. Garnet is the traditional birthstone of January, and Spessartine is a natural birthstone for many born from mid-summer to mid-autumn. Spessartine Garnet Gem is believed to be beneficial to both male and female reproductive systems, boosting fertility and sex drive. It helps the kidneys and bladder, poor circulation, chilblains and Reynaud’s disease. It may improve food intolerances, particularly to wheat and dairy products It is an antidepressant and suppresses nightmares, and may be used to treat calcium imbalances , fortifies the heart, and boost immune system.

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