Uvarovite is a deep green garnet gemstone beloved by collectors for its brilliant hue. So, is uvarovite green garnet? Yes, but it’s not the only one. The andradite garnet demantoid and grossular garnet tsavorite are also famous green varieties.
When you think of “garnet,” images of radiant red gems probably come to mind. But there are lots of garnet colors, the rarest being colorless, peach, and green.
By that logic, is uvarovite garnet rare? Yes, extremely rare. The uvarovite species is the rarest of the main garnet group gemstones. The only rarer garnets are fellow green beauties demantoid and tsavorite.
The scarcity of these bright little gems, along with their gorgeous, untreated color, makes them a sought-after treasure for collectors.
If you’re already coveting uvarovite, we don't blame you! Stay tuned to get the rundown on uvarovite gemstone traits, healing properties, prices, and more!
Uvarovite is a lush green calcium chromium silicate. Like all garnets, uvarovite is semi-precious, though many mistake garnets for precious stones.
The name “uvarovite” used to mistakenly be used for various other garnets, like:
Knorringite (rare garnet variety)
Green andradite (dubbed “Iranian uvarovite”)
Regarding the genuine stone, what does uvarovite look like? Typically, you’ll see uvarovite as vivid green druzy (a sparkling layer of tiny crystals on a larger rock, crystal, or geode). Individual uvarovite crystals are small and rare.
This garnet variety doesn’t have any industrial uses, though some garnets are used in sandpaper! However, scientists have synthesized it to research the garnet species overall, as this complex family of gems still have many secrets we’ve yet to uncover.
This green stone is a refreshing alternative to the traditional garnet January birthstone. It’s also a zodiac stone for Aquarius, bringing out this sign’s often-hidden passion. Lastly, garnet is the commemorative gem for your 2nd or 6th wedding anniversary!
There are dozens of garnet varieties and classifications that may be confusing, as these stones have slightly varied chemical compositions.
Looking at composition, there are two overarching species: aluminum-bearing pyralspite and calcium-bearing ugrandite.
Pyralspite garnets include pyrope, almandine, spessartite, and mixtures of these. These garnets are harder than ugrandites, at 7-7.5 on the Mohs mineral hardness scale.
Ugrandite garnets include uvarovite, andradite, and grossular. While andradite stones are defined by having iron and grossular stones by aluminum, uvarovite is defined by chromium.
The crystal system of garnets is always cubic, meaning they’re not normally birefringent (having two refractive index measurements). However, some ugrandite (and spessartite) garnets curiously display birefringence.
We won’t bore you with all the complicated scientific theories behind this phenomenon — just know that these specimens may instead have different crystal system symmetry, like monoclinic, triclinic, or orthorhombic.
Here are uvarovite’s properties:
Mohs hardness: 6.5-7.5
Color: Deep green
Crystal structure: Isometric (Cubic); Some specimens are triclinic, orthorhombic, or monoclinic
Luster: Vitreous (glass-like)
Transparency: Transparent to translucent; Druzy is opaque
Refractive index: 1.79-1.86
Fracture: Conchoidal or uneven
Luminescence: Fluorescence present; Red in LW-UV, red or green in SW-UV
Let’s shift from mineral properties into uvarovite metaphysical properties!
Garnets are the “Passion Stones,” representing willpower and service. Uvarovite garnets specifically symbolize growth, rejuvenation, and prosperity. Some call uvarovite the “Stone of Abundance.”
The Swiss-Russian chemist Henri Hess first discovered uvarovite garnets at the Russian Saranovaskii mine near the Ural Mountains in 1832.
Hess named the stone after Count Sergeĭ Semenovitch Uvarov, a Russian scholar, mineral collector, and prominent imperial politician under Czar Nicholas I. Count Uvarov had become Deputy Minister of Education that same year.
Uvarov was hugely influential in Russian education, but also made significant contributions in archeology. His son Aleksey was an archeologist who co-founded Imperial Russian Archeological Society in 1846 and Russia’s State Historical Museum in 1872.
One notable instance of modern uvarovite designs appeared in 2001 at the annual Gem & Mineral Show in Tucson, Arizona, USA. The display was a sculpted figure and highlighted multiple Russian gems, including malachite and lapis lazuli. The figure stood on “grass” made of uvarovite!
While the Russian locality remains important, most museum-grade uvarovite specimens historically came from Outokumpu, Finland.
Outside of museum exhibits, what is uvarovite used for? Crystal healing, of course!
All gemstones, including every garnet variety, can be strong healing stones based on their coloring and spiritual vibrations. Uvarovite, like other green gemstones, is popular for encouraging personal growth, attracting wealth, and promoting optimism.
But what about uvarovite uses for physical, emotional, and chakra healing?
Crystal healers use uvarovite for treating seasonal allergies, impotence, and inflammation. Other purported abilities of this stone include boosting heart function, blood circulation, and strength.
Looking for inner peace with a feeling of connection? Uvarovite is said to help you find clarity during meditation, while not allowing feelings of loneliness to slip in.
Other purported emotional benefits include promoting emotional resilience, self-confidence, and fulfillment.
Crystals are common for opening chakras, or energy centers throughout the body tied to certain symptoms. Uvarovite is a chakra stone for the heart chakra.
If you feel unworthy of affection or struggle to adjust to change, your heart chakra may be blocked. Uvarovite balances it to bring feelings of self-love, vulnerability, and adaptability.
Uvarovite’s limitations make it unique from other gems when used in jewelry. However, grading its value comes down to similar properties: color, cut, and carat weight.
Uvarovite’s green coloring has a small range, from medium to dark green. The best specimens have a pure green hue (no undertones) of medium saturation.
Like emerald, uvarovite’s green coloring comes from the chromium in its formula. As such, it’s the only garnet to have a consistent green hue, as chromium is only an impurity in other green garnets. This also makes uvarovite the one “true” chromium garnet.
Every property of uvarovite lends well to faceted cuts, but sadly, the crystals are usually too rare or small to facet. The rare faceted pieces are usually cut in checkerboard or freeform shapes.
More often, you’ll see a uvarovite garnet cabochon cut from druzy, possibly in whimsical triangle or oval shapes. These druzy cabochons are common for creating a glimmering pendant or stunning statement uvarovite ring.
Finding gem-quality uvarovite is hard enough, but finding faceted gems larger than 0.25 carats is extremely rare. From Finland, the largest faceted uvarovites are under 0.5 cts, while the largest crystals were around 2.5 cm, or less than 1 in. Druzy plates, on the other hand, can reach near 20 cm (almost 8 in) or larger.
Speaking of raw crystals, how is uvarovite formed?
Uvarovite crystals form slowly during metamorphism, a geological process where a rock’s composition and structure (along with minerals inside) change due to conditions like pressure, heat, and sometimes new chemicals being introduced.
Metamorphism usually happens near tectonic plate boundaries, resulting from the plates pushing toward each other.
Unsurprisingly, uvarovite forms in metamorphic rocks like serpentinite, peridotite, schist, marble, and silica-bearing limestone. There must be chromium and calcium present for uvarovite to form.
You’ll often see uvarovite grow with chromite, a dark-colored chromium iron oxide related to spinel. In fact, much of the druzy forms on chromite.
Now, where is uvarovite found?
The most abundant sources of uvarovite are Finland and the Ural Mountains of Russia. Russia is better-known for uvarovite druzy, while Finland boasts the largest, good-quality crystals.
More major sources include:
USA (Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon)
Ready to browse uvarovite for sale? We’ll tell you what to expect price-wise next!
The price of uvarovite varies based on its form. First, we’ll look at the most common form available, uvarovite druzy.
Most druzy is typically $1.50-$2 per carat. Higher-quality druzy has more distinct, visible crystals and can be $0.14 up to $10.50 per carat. Lower-quality druzy has much tinier crystals, overall resembling flat moss or grass. These druzy pieces go for $0.50-$4 per carat.
Rough uvarovite specimens at wholesale are $0.20-$3 per carat.
Non-druzy uvarovite crystals are usually sold attached to a matrix, and range broadly from $0.10-$22 per carat because the matrix factors into the weight. These options are $45 to $400 each.
Druzy pendants typically fetch prices of $22-$150, with most falling around $50-$70. Rings with druzy are pricier, starting at $55 and reaching upwards of $600.
Uvarovite gemstone care can be easy, as it lacks cleavage and has moderate hardness. However, crystal druzy is often more fragile than cabochons or faceted gems, so we recommend tall protective settings for rings or pendants. Also, be careful not to knock it into anything, as you risk dislodging the crystals.
To clean uvarovite druzy, use compressed air first. You can stop there or follow up by using a soft brush to gently clean the surface.
You can clean other forms of uvarovite with lukewarm water, mild soap, and that same soft brush. Just be aware that all garnets are sensitive to high heat, so store your uvarovite in a cool place away from other gems.
Uvarovite may be one of over 20 garnet varieties out there, but there’s a reason collectors fawn over this stunning yet largely unknown gem. Its rarity, consistently rich green coloring, and unique druzy form makes it deserving of distinction.
Wearing uvarovite jewelry or decorating with some luxurious green druzy is sure to reinvigorate your spirit and attract all the prosperity you deserve.
Buy uvarovite gemstones today!
Was this article helpful?1 person found this article helpful