Mandarin garnet cut into a round , almost 10mm in diameter, gem. This stone has a very bright, orange colour in desired, medium tone. Inclusions are more visible here than in reality because of high magnification. They are mostly colourless and have no significant impact upon this garnet’s appearance when seen with a naked eye. They actually give this gem a typical spessartine “sugary” look that increases the brilliance.
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Spessartine or Spessartite (US) is a manganese-aluminium silicate that belongs to the garnet family.
The prime quality stones show a lively orange colour and it is not uncommon for them to be eye clean. Spessartines are coloured by trace amounts of manganese in their atomic structure. It makes them bright orange and can turn to dark red-orange/brown if iron is also present. Current sources include Namibia, with stones considered the best in terms of colour but rarely clean. Most have tiny fibrous inclusions that give them hazy look. Other notable mining sites are located in Nigeria, Tanzania and Sri Lanka.
At the moment there are no known treatments or synthetic stones on the market. Spessartines are quite durable with a hardness of 7.25 and safe to put into ultrasonic cleaners, as long as there are no liquid inclusions. Same as with other gems we recommend cleaning with a soft brush and drying with a clean cloth.