Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Color Change Garnet from Kenya

In early 2009 a new deposit of color change garnet was discovered in the Taita district of Kenya. A farm hand digging a pit latrine for his family hit upon some crystals. The man suspected they could be important. He showed them to an acquaintance who happened to be a gem broker. The broker took them for alexandrite and almost instantly a full scale mining rush was on.
The vast majority of the production is of low quality – a brownish color and heavily included. A very small percentage of the production is an astonishingly high quality – transparent with excellent, strong color change. In white light it appears as a strong blue-green and in incandescent light it displays a strong color change to raspberry red.
The color change can be intense and equal to the color change of top quality alexandrite. The color change phenomena is caused by a relatively high amount of vanadium or chromium in the crystal matrix.

The gem is also found in Madagascar and Sri Lanka. Fine stones over 3 carats are both rare and valuable.
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