RHODOLITE , Untreated

Garnets are said to inspire in us
the vitality and energy to accomplish all things.

Rhodolite garnet was discovered in North Carolina in the United States in 1882. Garnets occur in many colors, and this variety is different from other reddish garnets. Its name is derived from the Greek rhodo (rose) and lithos (stone). The deposits in the United States were depleted by 1901, but around 1964, rhodolite was discovered in the Umba Valley in Tanzania, near the Kenyan border. In recent years, production from India has also increased, and it is possible that rhodolite will become an important gemstone in the near future.

The word garnet comes from the Latin word granum, meaning “seed”. In Japan, its name translates literally as “pomegranate stone.” Adoring oneself with garnet is said to bring about eternal friendship and trust, and to protect one from harm. Red garnets have a history of several thousand years, and garnet beads and inlaid jewelry were widespread in Egypt by 3100 B.C. In the 19th century, pyrope garnets from Bohemia in today’s Czech Republic were extremely popular. Pyrope garnets have a fiery red color, and because they are found only in smaller sizes, designs of jewelry using them are unique. The European bourgeoisie, born of the Industrial Revolution, would purchase these pyrope garnets while vacationing in the hot springs of Bohemia, and take them back to their homes throughout Europe. In his 1896 writings, Max Bauer notes that over half the merchandise displayed in jewelry stores at the end of the 19th century consisted of various types of garnets.

The beautiful purplish red of rhodolite is different from the classic red of almandite and pyrope garnet. Transparency is high, and material of medium tones is also mined. The rhodolite in the photograph to the next page is a beautiful stone of gem quality, with a purplish red color, a high level if transparency, and good shape and appearance. Polishers say that the quality of the rough material determines the brilliance of the stone. Any attempt to compensate for inferior quality by means of a good cut will result in a stone that lacks refinement and is not attractive. The natural beauty of rhodolite is therefore best brought out by a cut that is appropriate to the quality of the material at hand.

Ring, Platinum
Rhodolite1 pc
7.23 ct
Diamond 2 pc
0.68 ct
US $6,500