Melanite | Gemopedia

Melanite is an extremely rare opaque jet-black variety of andradite garnet. The high luster of this gem, when faceted, makes the stone look like black glass. Melanite was extremely popular in Victorian period mourning jewelry.
Alternate
Names
Titanian Andradite
Colors
Black

Melanite Classification

Common Name

Melanite

Species

Andradite

Variety

Melanite

Colors

Black

Alternate Names

Titanian Andradite

Gemstone Groups

Garnet

Key Separations

OTL RI and SG

Comments

Melanite's strong dispersion is masked by bodycolor.

Melanite Optical Properties

Transparency

Opaque

Refractive Index

Over the Limit 1.855-1.895

Birefringence

Optic Character

NA

Optic Sign

NA

Polariscope Reaction

Singly Refractive (SR)

Fluorescence

SWUV: Inert
LWUV: Inert

CCF Reaction

Pleochroism

None

Dispersion

Comments

Melanite Chemistry & Crystallography

Chemical Name

calcium iron silicate

Chemical Formula

Ca3Fe2(SiO4)3

Synthesis

Crystal System

Cubic

Classification

Silicate

Nature

Natural

Crystallinity

Crystalline

Comments

Melanite Characteristic Physical Properties

Hardness

6.5-7

Streak

Specific Gravity

3.7-4.1

Toughness

Poor

Inclusions

Luster

SubAdamantine

Stability

Good

Fracture

Conchoidal, Uneven

Cleavage

None

Comments

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