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>> Group(s) : garnets, silicates
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Its name recalls the color of the gooseberry.
Hessonite variety: it is the most renowned, also known as cinnamon stone or garnet hyacinth, name not to be used, it is a variety of grossular of dark orange color.
Tsavorite: variety of grossular going from green to emerald green intense (its color is due to vanadium and chromium) sometimes called "tsavolite", discovered in 1974 in Kenya in the Tsavo Park and Tanzania. It has a luster and a superior strength to emerald.
Hydrogrossular variety: isolated as a species of its own, close to grossular, in 1984, it may be pink, green, colorless or yellow, it is a calcium and aluminum silicate, such as grossular but hydrated, it is also called katoite or hibschite.
Some green-yellow grossular garnets are from Mali, by their chemical composition they are in between grossular and andradite. They are called "grandite", a contraction of grossular and andradite.

Exploited sites

Grossular: found in South Africa, Canada, United States, Kenya, Mali, Pakistan, Russia (Siberia), Sri Lanka, Tanzania. Hessonite variety: it is found in Sri Lanka , Brazil, Canada, United States, India, Madagascar, Tanzania. Tsavorite: found in Kenya and Tanzania. Katoite : the new variety is colorless, of a very similar composition, discovered by a Japanese mineralogist, Akira Kato, in Italy.

See pictures of the mines / other pictures

Use in jewelry

The tsavorite is increasingly used in jewelry because of its emerald green color, its brilliance and hardness. Pure gems of large size are rare. Garnet is the stone for the anniversary of the second year of marriage.

Daily care and precautions

Easy to care of, resistant to pressure. It may be washed with water mixed with dishwashing liquid, rinse with pure water and then with alcohol.

Looking alike stones

chrysoberyl , emerald , titanite , topaz , tourmaline , vesuvianite , zircon , jadeite

Historical healing properties

It is often called "anti-fear stone", its robustness would give it this power. When it's orange: it is an energy stone, it is invigorating both mentally and physically.
The tsavorite, the green garnet, would deliver a great power in a short time, would favor the development of intellectual faculties in harmony with the physical development.

Imitations and treatments

zirconium oxide stained, YAG, colored lenses, doublets.

Chemical characteristics

calcium aluminium silicate

Physical characteristics

Main color : orange

Other colors : brown, colourless, pink, green

all shades from light yellow, orange, brown and green

Color of streak : white

Luster : vitreous, resinous

Hardness : 6.5 to 7.5

Density : 3.57 to 3.75

Cleavage : indistinct

Fracture : conchoidal, uneven

Optical properties

Transparency : transparent, translucent

Refractive Index : 1.730 - 1.760

Double refraction : 0.000

None, but sometimes isotropic crystals show some polarization anomalies

visible double refraction : no

Dispersion : 0.020 (0.012)

Pleochroism : absent

Number of colors : 1

Absorption spectrum : 630 - 605 - 505

701.640.622.443 for demantoid. 435 for hessonite

orange grossular spectrum system

orange grossular spectrum system

green grossular from mali spectrum system

green grossular from mali spectrum system

tsavorite spectrum system

tsavorite spectrum system

Fluorescence : variable

Inclusions : small colorless crystals and eroded (hessonite), fissures of liquid particles (tsavorite)


Sometimes very pure crystals and well shaped in isometric- hexoctahedral


Crystal system : cubic

Other informations

Astrological sign : Aries, Leo, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn

Chinese astrological sign : Rat

Month : january

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  • Aries Aries
  • Leo Leo
  • Virgo Virgo
  • Scorpio Scorpio
  • Capricorn Capricorn

Libra, Taurus, Leo for tsavorite. The grossular promotes relaxation.

Chinese astrological sign :
  • Rat Rat

Garnet brings energy, ambition and efficiency. Reduces the suspicious, manipulative side and makes it fun and friendly.