Mali, Malaya, or Malaia Garnet Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Barbara Smigel at Artistic Colored Stones., Dr. Joel Arem

Tanzanian Malaya Garnets

GARNET: Malaya, Tanzania (12.80, 11.39, 6.38 // 8.23, 8.56, 14.46)

Mali Garnet, one of the rarer varieties within the garnet group, is a mixture of the species grossular and andradite, (therefore it is sometimes called "grandite.") The entire garnet group is a solid solution series of silicates. That means the crystal structure is basically the same throughout the group, but some of the chemical formulas differ. At certain key points throughout the series, designated species names are given, such as pyrope, almandite, spessartite, grossular, etc. These species exhibit different optical and physical properties due to their differing chemistries. Each is a silicate of aluminum, chromium, or iron combined with magnesium, manganese, iron, or calcium.

Mali Garnet Value

Garnet Value via Gem Price Guide

Last Updated On: April 29, 2014
Top Color: oR, R, PR, rP 6/4

Almandine All sizes
$⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct 

Fine Color Andradite: G 5/4

Andradite All sizes
$⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct 
Chrome Pyrope All sizes
$⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct 
Color Change .5 to 1 carat 1 to 6 carats
Africa $⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct  $⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct 
US $⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct  $⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct 
Demantoid to 1 carat 1 to 3 carats
$⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct  $⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝,000/ct 
Grossular Garnet .5 to 1 carat 1 to 5 carats 5 carats plus
Mint Green (Merlani) $⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct  $⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct  to $⊝⊝⊝/ct 
Yellow/Orange $⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct  to $⊝⊝⊝/ct  to $⊝⊝⊝/ct 
Yellow/Green $⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct  to $⊝⊝⊝/ct  to $⊝⊝⊝/ct 
Other colors $⊝⊝⊝/ct  $⊝⊝⊝/ct  to $⊝⊝⊝/ct 

Fine Color Hessonite: yO 4/5

Hessonite Garnet All sizes
$⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct 
Malaya Garnet .5 to 1 carat 1 to 5 carats 5 carats plus
$⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct  $⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct  to $⊝⊝⊝/ct 
Mozambique All sizes
$⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct 
Mali Garnet All sizes
$⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct 

Fine Color Spessartite: O 4/5

Mandarin Orange All sizes
$⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct 

Fine Color Pyrope: R 6/5

Pyrope 1 carat plus
$⊝⊝⊝/ct 

Fine Color Rhodolite: rP, PR 6/5

Rhodolite .5 to 1 carat 1 to 10 carats 10 carats plus
Faceted $⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct  $⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct  to $⊝⊝⊝/ct 
Cabochons $⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct  $⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct  to $⊝⊝⊝/ct 
Spessartite Reds
See Mandarin above
.5 to 3 carats 3 to 6 carats
Little 3 Mine $⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct  $⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct 
African $⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct  $⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct 
Darker reds $⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct 
Star Garnet All sizes
6 ray star $⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct 
4 ray star $⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct 

Fine Color Tsavorite: G 6/5

Tsavorite .5 to 1 carat 1 to 2 carats 2 carats plus
Faceted $⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct  $⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct  $⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝,000/ct 
Uvarovite 10 carats plus
Druzy $⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct 
Cabochons All Sizes
Common red to purple $⊝⊝⊝ to $⊝⊝⊝/ct 

(learn more)

Mali Garnet Information

DataValue
NameMali Garnet
Is a Variety ofAndradite-Grossular
Alternate Common NamesMalaya Garnet
Crystallography Cubic
Refractive Index 1.760 - 1.780
Hardness 7
Specific Gravity 3.49 - 3.85
Cleavage None
Dispersion .028 - .057
Heat SensitivityNo
Wearability Very Good
Enhancements None known
Special Care InstructionsNone
FormulaCalcium, iron/aluminum silicate, (varies with composition)

Mali (also known as Malaya or Malaia) Garnet, one of the rarer varieties within the garnet group, is a mixture of the species grossular and andradite, (therefore it is sometimes called “grandite.”) The entire garnet group is a solid solution series of silicates. That means the crystal structure is basically the same throughout the group, but some of the chemical formulas differ. At certain key points throughout the series, designated species names are given, such as pyrope, almandite, spessartite, grossular, etc. These species exhibit different optical and physical properties due to their differing chemistries. Each is a silicate of aluminum, chromium, or iron combined with magnesium, manganese, iron, or calcium.

A nearly infinite array of named and as yet unnamed, varieties of garnet exist in Nature. Two varieties that have come to recent popularity are rhodolite and malaya. They are hybrids: rhodolite garnet consists of almandine and pyrope; malaya garnet is a mixture of pyrope, almandine, spessartite and grossular.

In terms of Mali’s own relatives, tsavorite and hessonite are two well known color varieties of grossular and demantoid is a variety of the rare andradite.

Hhessonite and demantoid garnets

Representatives of the parent species of Mali garnet: hessonite garnet (grossular), demantoid garnet (andradite)

The name, Mali, is based on the country where the specimens are mined in West Africa. It was discovered in 1994 and Mali is still the only known source. This previously unknown gem is brilliant, highly dispersive, yellow to yellow-green, or brown. Gemological study has proven that the new gem’s composition is intermediate between that of grossular, (calcium aluminum silicate,) and andradite, (calcium iron silicate.) Although Mali garnets are predominantly grossularite, the variable admixture of andradite changes its characteristics in at least one important way. The hybrid, Mali, seems to favor its grossular parent in terms of refractive index, (1.77 in most specimens,) and hardness, but derives its superb dispersion from its andradite heritage.

Most rough is mined from alluvial deposits and shows the rounded, water worn shape typical of that source. A great deal of material was produced the year following its discovery. The popularity of this pretty stone soared and prices were initially very high, but soon began to drop off. In recent years, much smaller amounts have been produced which has resulted in an increase in price. As large size rough is rare in this variety, price per carat increases dramatically with size.

Colors range from yellow, to greenish yellow, to yellowish brown, to brown. Cut stones are remarkable for their brilliance and most notably their dispersion when the body color is light enough to let it show. As with all garnets, no special care is necessary in setting or wearing and they are suitable for all jewelry uses. No enhancements or synthetics are known in the market.

Value:

Mali Garnet

No doubt the high end of this variety’s value range is reserved for the extremely rare chrome green color. In general yellow, yellow green and green yellow stones go for higher prices than the brownish stones. As with any gem, size, clarity and cut affect the value dramatically, with dispersion being a special value factor for Mali garnets.

Source/Attribution: Barbara Smigel at Artistic Colored Stones., Dr. Joel Arem


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