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Rhodolite Garnet

February 14, 2012 1123 No of hits
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Rhodolite Garnet

Rhodolite is a kind of garnet that is most often red to a purplish red in color. Its name may come from the Greek words "rhodon" and "lithos" meaning rose stone. Because of its vitreous, or glassy, luster and a high refractive index making its shine brilliant, some have called it the "Queen of Garnets." Often lighter in color than other varieties of red garnet, it is sometimes mistaken for a ruby.

Although technically belonging to the pyrope mineral class, it actually falls between almandine garnet and pyrope garnet with a chemical composition of iron, magnesium, aluminum, and silicate. (Silicate is an insoluble metal salt that contains both silicon and oxygen.) Deposits of rhodolite garnet are located in Australia, Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, and in North Carolina in the United States. The largest single garnet ever found was in 1996 when a college student found a stone almost a hundred feet wide and weighing thousands of tons in central Australia.

Rhodolite garnet is a durable gemstone with a hardness of 7-7.5 on the Mohs scale and can be cut into many different sizes and shapes, including facets or cabochons. (A cabochon cut is a highly polished, smooth, convex form without facets.) The gemstone is transparent and often free of inclusion, or particles of other minerals. These facts, together with its vitreous luster and shine, make it popular for use in jewelry. In 1996 a rhodolite flower brooch cut in cabochon style and once belonging to Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis sold at a Sotheby auction for $145,000.

Historically, garnets have been dated back to the Bronze Age. Worn by ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks, they were prized for their beauty as well as their talisman powers. Medicine men, healers, and shamans believed that garnets could protect wearers from evil and from a variety of physical ailments.

Tags:   Rhodolite garnet   Silicate   Vitreous   Luster   Cabochon  

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Rhodolite is a kind of garnet that is most often red to a purplish red in color. Its name may come from the Greek words "rhodon" and "lithos" meaning rose stone. Because of its vitreous, or glassy, luster and a high refractive index making its shine brilliant, some have called it the "Queen of...

By: Richard Martine Created 74 months ago

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