Sunday, 9 December 2018

Purple pyrope-almandine garnets

In early 2016 purple garnets from East Africa started to appear. The source was Manica Province in central Mozambique. The deposit is located about 60 km northeast of Chimoio, near Gorongosa National Park. The area is under the control of the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO), an armed rebel group.
What's special about these garnets is the color - an intense purple with red flashes that is called Royal Purple. The Mozambique material has strong color with extreme brilliance.

If this wasn't enough, the garnets also display a color change, from grape under daylight to cranberry with magenta flashes under incandescent lighting.

The government of Mozambique has now closed the area to mining making further supply uncertain.
The material with the best color is found in smaller sizes, under 3-4 carats. Since the color saturation is so intense, larger stones are too dark. The highest grade material has come from the Mozambique deposit, with some stones coming from Tanzania. Both display the distinctive color change.