Pyrope-Spessartite | Gemopedia

Discovered in the mid 1960's in Tanzania's Umba Valley, this red-orange to pink-orange variety of garnet was originally thought to be spessartite garnet. Actually a mixture of pyrope and spessartite garnets, these gems are lively thanks to their sparkling red flashes. Once discovered not to be spessartite, they aptly became known by the Swahili word malaia, meaning "out of the family".
Alternate
Names
Umbalite, Malaya, Malaia And Color-Change
Colors
Light To Dark, Slightly Pinkish Orange, Reddish Orange, Yellowish Orange, Blue, Teal, Greenish Blue, Pink, Red, Purple

Pyrope-Spessartite Classification

Common Name

Pyrope-Spessartite

Species

Pyrope-Spessartite

Variety

Colors

Light To Dark, Slightly Pinkish Orange, Reddish Orange, Yellowish Orange, Blue, Teal, Greenish Blue, Pink, Red, Purple

Alternate Names

Umbalite, Malaya, Malaia And Color-Change

Gemstone Groups

Garnet

Key Separations

RI, SR nature, magnification, and possibly spectrum. Lack of pleochroism makes clear separation from alexandrite.

Comments

Malaia garnet comes from the Umba Valley in Tanzania and are yellowish-brown, brownish pink, cinnamon color, honey brown, reddish brown to brown-orange.Umbalite garnet comes from the Umba Valley in Tanzania and are light pink to purple.Color change garnets are generally intense pink to red under incandescent light and greenish yellow in daylight or fluorescent light or teal to purple color change.

Pyrope-Spessartite Optical Properties

Transparency

Transparent

Refractive Index

1.75-1.78

Birefringence

Optic Character

NA

Optic Sign

NA

Polariscope Reaction

Singly Refractive (SR) With ADR

Fluorescence

SWUV: Inert
LWUV: Inert

CCF Reaction

Pleochroism

None

Dispersion

Strength: moderate fire Value: 0.022

Comments

Pyrope-Spessartite Chemistry & Crystallography

Chemical Name

magnesium aluminium garnet or manganese aluminium garnet

Chemical Formula

Mg3Al2(SiO4)3-Mn32+Al2(SiO4)3

Synthesis

Crystal System

Cubic

Classification

Silicate

Nature

Natural

Crystallinity

Crystalline

Comments

Pyrope-Spessartite Characteristic Physical Properties

Hardness

7-7.5

Streak

White

Specific Gravity

3.78-3.85

Toughness

Good

Inclusions

Pyrope-spessartite is a type II clarity stone. Stones sometimes contains rutile, apatite and pyrite mineral inclusions and intersecting needles.

Luster

SubAdamantine

Stability

Good

Fracture

Conchoidal

Cleavage

None

Comments

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