Spessartite is part of the large family of garnets.
Its name comes from Spessart in Germany, where it was discovered. It is also called spessartine, or spessartite garnet. Spessartite belongs to the Garnet family.
Spessartite : History
Gemologists first identified this gem in the 1830s in Bavaria, in the town from which its name is derived. However, it has long been prized only by collectors, unlike certain other garnets such as tsavorite or demantoid. Nevertheless, its production continued during the 20th century.
Its popularity has grown steadily in recent years, especially since the discovery of an incredible deposit in Namibia. The rise in the price of more classic precious stones has enhanced its attractiveness, but also its very modern “fanta” or “tangerine” orange color.
The color of Spessartite ranges from orange-red to bright orange, including yellow-orange and brown-orange. The most coveted color is bold and intense orange, with no undertones of yellow, red or brown. The orange color is caused by manganese. It is modified by the iron belonging to the molecules of Almandine, often present. When the proportion of molecules of Almandine and Spessartite is at or near parity, we are then in the presence of the intermediate variety Almandine-Spessartite.
Where can we find spessartites ?
In terms of beautiful orange color gem quality, of great transparency and of sufficient dimensions to be faceted cut, the Spessartite deposits are mainly found in Africa: in Namibia (Kunene), in Nigeria (Jos Plateau), in Tanzania (Loliondo), Mozambique and Madagascar.
Other deposits worthy of interest are located in China (Yunxiao), Pakistan (Skardu and Gilgit), the United States (Ramona in California and Amelia in Virginia) and in Brazil (including Ceara). Spessartite is generally not subject to any treatment other than cutting and polishing.
Spessartite: value, price, purchase
The Spessartite Garnet of beautiful size, very orange and without inclusions visible to the naked eye is one of the great and beautiful rarities, very coveted in luxury jewelry because there are very few other bright orange gems in nature, apart from the fire opal.
Spessartite can be imitated by man-made or synthetic materials like glass, cubic zirconium oxide (photo), YAG or GGG. Before any purchase, contact a dealer who will be able to guarantee the authenticity of your Spessartite.
Shape and size of Spessartite Garnet
Lapidaries cut spessartites locally around production sites, but especially in cutting centers. The most important are Thailand and India. Traditionally, the finest materials are often found in the factories of Idar Oberstein in Germany.
We generally cut the materials most included in cabochon. These can reach several tens of carats.
When the quality is better, the lapidaries then prefer to cut the spessartites into facets. Their dimensions are generally more modest, very rarely exceeding a few carats when they are beautiful. They can take all kinds of shapes and designs, the most popular being the oval and the cushion, and to a lesser extent the round, emerald cut, heart, pear …
The tailor chooses the design of his future gem based on the shape of the rough stone, which he tries to respect as much as possible so as not to lose too much weight. Lapidaries cut spessartites by hand: we therefore commonly accept small imperfections in symmetry.
Like almost all natural gems, spessartites very often contain inclusions, such as small crystals, cracks, cavities, etc. These constitute the identity card of your gemstone, because the inclusions it contains are unique to it. Spessartite garnet is a type of gemstone that has a medium to high inclusion level. Therefore, it is very rare to find clean spessartites.
At BenGems, we believe that inclusions, while they can be visible to the eye, should not detract from the beauty of the stone. We try to select relatively “eye-clean” spessartites as much as possible. This corresponds to a strict criterion (not visible to the eye from 30 cm from the front, under standard lighting conditions).
Varieties of spessartites
Strictly speaking, there are no well-differentiated varieties of spessartite; rather, they are trade names. The most popular color of spessartite is credited with the term “fanta” because of its intense and pure orange hue which is reminiscent of the drink of the same name.
in the 1990s spessartite miners discovered in Namibia superb orange-red specimens. They are nicknamed mandarin garnets.
Spessartite in lithotherapy
Spessartites and psychological aspect
On a physical level, garnet has a definite role in strengthening the heart and regulating the circulation of blood. In addition, by increasing blood plasma and therefore white blood cells, hemoglobin uptake is improved. The capillaries are also strengthened, reducing skin irritation, internal and external wounds.
Garnet has an invigorating role in several organs, including the liver, spleen and kidneys. Reproductive systems are stimulated, thus improving sexual potency and protecting the reproductive organs. Also treatable: ringing in the ears. At the bone level, we also note the power of garnet against joint pain and heaviness, abnormal hardening of an organ and reduced bone mineralization, as well as bone fractures. The spine would be protected.
How to maintain, to clean your spessartite ?
Spessartite is a relatively strong gem. It is often free from fractures, which makes it possible to clean it. However, this is, as with all gems, to preserve it from direct shocks, heat sources, and liquids.
We recommend removing your fine stone jewelry before any activity at risk of impact: cooking, sport, charging, etc. If your spessartite has cracks that reach its surface, we do not recommend cleaning it with a liquid product or an ultrasonic device. In this case, use a simple soft cloth and air dry.