From The Gemology Project
Revision as of 11:46, 23 October 2007 by Doos (talk | contribs) (Malaia: added main entry to pyrope)
Jump to: navigation, search
Spessartite Garnet
Chemical composition Mn3Al2(SiO4)3

Manganese aluminum silicate

Crystal system Cubic
Habit Dodecahedra
Cleavage None
Hardness 7
Optic nature Isotropic
Refractive index 1.795-1.815
Birefringence None
Specific gravity 4.12-4.20
Lustre Vitreous
Nigerian Spessartite garnet
Photo courtesy of Lembeck Gems

Spessartite image gallery

Spessartite is also named spessartine, both names are used interchangeably.



Red, reddish-orange to yellowish-brown.


Spessartite shows a typical spectrum due to manganese (idiochromatic) and some iron (from almandine).


  • Feathers of liquid droplets ("shredded inclusions"), negative crystals.

Specific gravity

Spessartite sinks in all common heavy liquids.

Chelsea Colour Filter

Spessartite will show red under the CCF.



Three names for the same intense orange variety of spessartite.


Main entry: pyrope

Malaia garnet (or malaya garnet) is the red-orange variety of pyrope-spessartite.

Inclusion images

Inclusions in a manderine garnet
Photo courtesy of John Huff, gemcollections.com


  • Sri Lanka (Ceylon)
  • Burma
  • Brazil
  • Madagascar
  • Mozambique
Faceted Mozambique Spessartite garnet
Photo courtesy of The Gem Trader

  • Nigeria
  • Namibia
  • California