Easy
Pyrope/Almandine and Rhodolite Garnet Information

Rhodolite Garnet - pyrope and almandine garnetAll these garnets are members of the isomorphous Pyralspite series of garnets (along with spessartite) with red to purple hues. Pyrope has a blood-red color with few inclusions. Almandine garnet, or almandite garnet, is deep red to violet and can show asterism.

Magnificent Pyrope/Almandine garnets, the color of fine French Claret wine, come from Mozambique and are known as "Mozambique Garnet." These have become highly prized when they look very beautiful.

Rhodolite garnet is a combination of pyrope and almandine. It's a red to reddish-pink or violet gemstone sometimes called ‘grape garnet’. This is one of the superior varieties of pyralspite garnet as it is far brighter.

Pyrope, Almandine, and Rhodolite Garnet History

Pyrope and almandine gemstones have been used in jewelry since the 18th century. Garnet is the birthstone of January. Garnets were often given among friends as good luck charms.

garnet january birthstone meaning

Pyrope, Almandine, and Rhodolite Garnet Visuals

These gems' colors are deep blood-red to red, reddish-pink, and violet. The division between pyrope and almandine is somewhat arbitrary, so many garnets are called pyrope almandine!

rhodolite garnet gemstone - pyrope and almandine garnet mixtureImage: Rhodolite garnet

Specifications of Pyrope, Almandine, and Rhodolite Garnet

  • Mohs Hardness: 7-7.5

  • Toughness: Good

  • Luster: Vitreous (glassy)

  • Specific Gravity: Pyrope: 3.62-3.87; Almandine: 3.93-4.30; Rhodolite: 3.74-3.94

  • Refractive Index: Pyrope: 1.72 – 1.76; Almandine: 1.77-1.82; Rhodolite: 1.74-1.78

  • Cleavage: None

  • Chemical Formulas: [Mg,Fe,Mn]3Al2(SiO4)3 | Pyrope: Mg3AL2(SiO4)3; Almandine: Fe3Al2Si3O12; Rhodolite: (Mg,Fe)3Al2(SiO4)3

rhodolite garnet gemstone ringImage: Rhodolite garnet ring

Pyrope, Almandine, and Rhodolite Crystal System

All garnets crystalize in the cubic (isometric) system. Symmetrically, crystals are in cubes, octahedrons, or pentagonal dodecahedrons, though spherical crystals also exist. 

Common Inclusions in Garnet

You may see inclusions of needle-like crystals causing hazy-looking garnet gemstones or rounded, irregular crystals. These crystal inclusions may be in clusters. They're commonly apatite or zircon.

Garnet Mines

Niassa National Reserve, Cuamba mine, Mozambique, (Mozambique Garent) Umba River Valley, Tanzania (Rhodolite)

Rare 2.40 ct Natural Grape Garnet From Mozambique~TImage: Mozambique grape garnet with SI (Slightly Included) clarity

Value of Pyrope, Almandine and Rhodolite Garnet

As with all colored gemstone grading, the 4C’s apply. Small, dark garnets are very cheap. When the size gets larger, the value increases enormously – if the stone is eye-clean (lacks visible inclusions).

Mozambique garnets, especially rhodolite garnet, are a good investment as they are very similar to rubellite tourmalines. In the past year, they have increased in price as the tourmalines have, but not at the same level – yet! Large rhodolite garnets are gaining some notoriety and considerable collectability.

Garnets are greatly underrated. We are big fans of all things garnet, and we specialise in gems and beads. These gems are going up in price, along with all gemstones, but they're a worthy investment. If someone puts a large pink rhodolite in front of me, I will have to hide my delight as I haggle!

SHOP FOR GARNET

Was this article helpful?

4 people found this article helpful

Search the Gemstone Encyclopedia

A-Z Of Gemstones

A-Z Of Gemstones

A-Z Of Gemstones
174 articles
Additional Gemstone Information

Additional Gemstone Information

Additional Gemstone Information
64 articles
Birthstones By Month

Birthstones By Month

Our list of birthstones by month will help you understand what each birthstone means and why they make thoughtful and beautiful gifts.
13 articles
Did You Know?

Did You Know?

Did You Know?
82 articles
Drawing Design Awards

Drawing Design Awards

Drawing Design Awards
2 articles
Gem Rock Auctions Verified Sellers

Gem Rock Auctions Verified Sellers

Gem Rock Auctions Verified Sellers
3 articles
Holistic Gemstone Information

Holistic Gemstone Information

Holistic Gemstone Information
15 articles
How To's

How To's

How To's is where you will find helpful articles from gem Rock Auctions on how to cut gemstones, select gemstones and buy gemstones.
11 articles
News

News

News and events on Gem Rock Auctions
53 articles
Technical Information on Gemstones

Technical Information on Gemstones

Technical Information on Gemstones
37 articles