Spessartite Gemstone Guide
Nowadays, many people look for new, unique jewelry for a reasonable price. Terms like “boho” and “vintage-inspired” abound. In addition, people look for artisan creations. It is in this space that we often see stones like spessartite garnet, both because of its unique look and the fact it’s a recent entrant to the jewelry market.
What is Spessartite?
Spessartite is a type of garnet, which means it’s an aluminum silicate. In addition, spessartite has manganese as part of its chemical structure. This means that orange spessartite is the default color, though the actual color can range from light orange to a reddish-orange. Very brilliant spessartite is called mandarin orange spessartite garnet.
Orange spessartite garnet forms deep in the earth. Aluminum-rich sedimentary rock can undergo changes where the rock partially melts, then recrystallizes. Furthermore, garnets of multiple colors occur in the same place, providing the opportunity for more than one garnet type to form in the same crystal and create unique colors. Besides color, the spessartite garnet properties are the same as other garnets.
One of the best things about mandarin spessartite garnet is the color. After all, there are relatively few gemstones in the orange color range. And, it’s the most important aspect of spessartite garnet value, with pure orange the priciest. Spessartite isn’t technically a birthstone, but red garnets are the birthstone for January if you want something unique.
Furthermore, spessartite garnet hardness is relatively high, so you can wear jewelry made from it relatively frequently. You could even have a spessartite garnet ring look nice for years. Pair it with spessartite garnet stud earrings and even a pendant for something special.
Spessartite Shapes and Sizes
Whether you want an orange spessartite ring, a pendant, or even spessartite earrings, you can choose from many different shapes. As a rule, you can get this stone in any shape like other garnet types, including oval, princess, and round. Combined with teardrop shapes, these are arguably the most popular in jewelry generally.
With that said, spessartite is a relatively rare color of garnet. This is one reason why it hasn’t been popular until recently when large deposits were found in Africa. Furthermore, spessartite garnet rough typically comes in small sizes, so stones above five carats are rare. Cut stones of less than two carats are the most common. However, if you want a bold look, go with some jewelry that has more than one stone.
Spessartite Clarity, Treatments, and Value
Generally speaking, spessartite has similar levels of clarity to other garnets. This means that you can get “eye-clean” stones without obvious flaws. However, as a “type II” gem, spessartites are more likely to have small inclusions that are visible but don’t detract too much from the stone.
Because there are so many gorgeous stones for a spessartite ring and other jewelry, treatments are relatively rare. This is unsurprising since spessartites are famous for their color. However, orange stones are somewhat less popular, and spessartite is a more niche choice. Together, these factors mean that it isn’t financially advantageous to create a lot of treated stones.
In addition, there aren’t any formal lab reports available for spessartite. Generally, you’ll pay more for a true orange, or “mandarin,” stone than you will for a brownish one. In addition, garnets with fewer inclusions are more valuable than clouded ones. The finest garnets can fetch thousands of dollars per carat, and natural spessartite garnet is one of the more valuable colors.
Spessartite never occurs alone. In fact, like all other garnets it forms in the same areas as other garnets. However, it doesn’t grow in all places with garnet deposits. Instead, you can find it mostly in Australia, South Asia, Afghanistan, the United States, Israel, and Africa.
These days, many of the nicer stones come from Africa. One reason for this is that the answer to “is spessartite garnet rare?” is yes, except that it’s most abundant in African countries like Nigeria, Mozambique, and Tanzania.
How to Buy Spessartite
Finally, let’s look at some considerations for buying spessartite jewelry. Because this is a newer option on the market, you’ll find fewer options than many more popular stones. However, there are some things to consider:
• Never over-spend. Even the most beautiful stone is never worth a lot of debt. Instead, find something else that you like, but is affordable.
• Choose a size and shape. You might not be able to get exactly what you want, but have a good idea of what you’re looking for. This helps you narrow down your options. For example, if you love oval shapes, you can probably find a nice oval spessartite set in jewelry. And if you prefer a smaller stone, then don’t consider something that seems too large.
• Never settle for poor quality. Spessartite is a special stone, and it deserves a high-quality setting. That doesn’t mean you need to buy something expensive, though. Instead, even a well-constructed, yet simple, setting will protect your investment.
• Finally, think about if you want to buy online or in person. Buying from a local store means you can try the jewelry on before purchase, and that you’ll develop a relationship with a jeweler. On the other hand, online jewelers have a better selection. At With Clarity, we have a customer-friendly return policy, so you can buy with confidence.
Spessartite is a relatively new addition to the jewelry world, having once been primarily a collector’s stone. However, its stunning orange color has won many hearts among consumers. If you want something unique and special, be sure to check it out.
Are spessartite garnets rare?
Typically, yes. Although garnets are relatively common, green and orange are the least common colors. However, spessartite is less rare than many other gemstones.
Where color spessartite is most valuable?
A pure, mandarin orange is the most valuable. However, we always recommend that for jewelry you buy something you’ll love to wear.
Does the color of spessartite fade with time?
No, it doesn’t. Garnets in general have a very stable color, in part because the color isn’t the result of impurities.
Which is better red garnet or spessartite?
That’s a decision only you can make. After all, value isn’t what determines better or worse. Instead, the “better” garnet for you is whichever you like better and will enjoy wearing.