The slightly violet or pink red variety of
garnet found in Tanzania, Sri Lanka and India represents the finest of the
red garnets. Coming from the Greek word rose, the colour will vary from a
pale pinkish red to quite an intense, almost purple hue. Being a member of the
very large Garnet family, Rhodolite is the birthstone for the month of January
and, according to myth, the wearer is assured of love and faithfulness and also
to safety whilst travelling. The Asiatic people used Garnet as bullets as,
being a red colour, they were thought to inflict a deadlier wound.
Named by Henry Platt of Tiffany & Co.
after the Tsavo National Park where the majority of this beautiful variety of
green Grossularite Garnet is found. Tsavo borders the two nations of Tanzania
and Kenya and produces a myriad of beautiful coloured stone varieties.
Tsavorite was discovered in the late 1960's and to this day has only been found
in relatively small sizes with stones over 3.00 carats being rare. However, a
recent discovery in the Merelani district has yielded some exceptional large
specimens of Tsavorite, some in excess of 50.00 carats, though most specimens
are of a lighter colour.
Found in Namibia in 1991, this intense
orange coloured member of the Garnet family is closely related to Spessartite
Garnet. When discovered, several names were proposed for this vibrant orange
coloured gem, including Hollandine Garnet. Deposits in Namibia became difficult
and expensive to mine and another source has become prominent on today's
market, Nigeria. Where the Namibian stones tended to be small in size, the
Nigerian stones, though perhaps a slightly less pure orange colour, tend to be
larger in size and cleaner to the eye. Being a member of the Garnet family,
Mandarin Garnet offers a beautiful birthstone alternative to those born in the
month of January.