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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History


No description of this
                                          asset is available
Photo by Ken Larsen. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH G10580-00
Locality Zambia
Weight 19.77 ct

Gift of Edward W. Boehm in 2008.

Spessartine is the manganese-rich member of the garnet family and is typically colored yellowish to reddish orange. Spessartine gems can be quite beautiful, but they are not commonly seen in jewelry because the supplies are limited. The major sources for gem quality spessartine are Sri Lanka and Brazil. Other localities include Australia, Burma, India, Israel, Madagascar, Zambia, Nigeria and the United States. In the early 1970s pinkish to reddish or yellowish orange garnets were discovered in Tanzania that are intermediate in composition between spessartine and pyrope (red garnet). They are called Malaya garnets and found some popularity in the gem markets. Spessartine that is orange-yellow and found in Madagascar is called Mandarin garnet. This vivid cabochon-cut spessartine garnet is from a find in Zambia, and its intense yellowish-orange color is unlike any other spessartine in the National Gem Collection.



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