Why Are Rhodolite Garnet Stones So Coveted? All Entries
Rhodolite comes from the garnet family and is sometimes confused with rubies, which are much more valuable. But natural rhodolite garnet stones can command high value due to their stunning sparkle and rose color. Here's a look at what you should know about these popular sensual gems.
What Is a Rhodolite Garnet?
A rhodolite is a hybrid between almandine and pyrope garnets. Its name comes from the Greek work "rhodon," which means "rose-like." Natural rhodolite garnet stones stand out as special from other gems due to the lack of inclusions seen with the naked eye. Clarity and natural color are the two main qualities that make these stones widely cherished.
Colors beyond various red tones include purple, orange, peach, yellow, green, blue and brown. Another important quality of this gem is that it has a hardness of 7-7.5 on the Mohs scale. The value of a rhodolite is typically more than other gems in the garnet family, as a high-quality 1 carat stone may command a value of $1,000.
The growing popularity of colored stones in general has contributed to rhodolite garnet stones rising in popularity this century. Some people gravitate toward these natural stones as an alternative to rubies, which are often treated and are controversial due to humanitarian issues.
Interesting Facts About Rhodolite Garnet Stones
Garnets were commonly traded in ancient Rome, Egypt, and Greece. They were believed to protect against evil and as late as the Middle Ages were thought to stop bleeding. Even through the nineteenth century garnets were considered to be tools for escaping bad dreams.
Knowledge of garnets traces back to prehistoric times, but the variety of rhodolite stones was undocumented until the 1890s. Mineralogist William Earl Hidden discovered the gem in North Carolina at that time. During the last century rhodolite garnet stones have mainly been found in Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Madagascar, Brazil, Norway, and India.
Today rhodolite is the birthstone for January and is increasingly chosen for second wedding anniversaries. The stone's brilliance makes it competitive with other semi-precious gems, with purple-pink raspberry being among the most valuable. The transparent stones have a single crystal structure and are composed of iron, manganese, aluminum, silicon, and oxygen. Other elements such as chromium may affect the color.
A common rhodolite shape is oval, but it can easily be cut into various other shapes. Small-sized rhodolite gems are usually fairly affordable. Cheaper versions that have been shaped and polished are also widely available. Natural rhodolite gems can be identified using robust neodymium magnets, which attract measurable amounts of iron and manganese.
Durability is another reason for the growing attraction to rhodolite, as it's easy to maintain. You just need to be careful not to bang it on anything or expose it to sudden temperature changes. The best way to clean a rhodolite crystal is with warm soapy water and a soft brush.
Rosey sparkle and visible flawlessness make rhodolite garnet stones popular choices for special gifts. Some of these vibrant gems that mix well with gold or silver are exceptionally valuable, especially those that have a raspberry-red tone. Contact Ralph Mueller & Associates for more information on rhodolite garnet stones and other beautiful gems.