cushion-cut Mali garnet
cushion-cut Mali garnet

Mali Garnet Value, Price, and Jewelry Information


One of the rarer varieties in the garnet group, Mali garnet is a blend of grossular and andradite. This gemstone has great brilliance and a high dispersion. Its colors range from almost tsavorite green to yellow-green, yellow, gold, and brown.

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One of the rarer varieties in the garnet group, Mali garnet is a blend of grossular and andradite. Discovered in 1994 in Mali (still its only known source), this gemstone has great brilliance and a high dispersion. Its colors range from almost tsavorite green to yellow-green, yellow, gold, and brown.

cushion-cut Mali garnet
Cushion-cut Mali garnet, 0.95 cts, 6.7 x 5.1 x 3.4 mm, Mali. © ARK Rare Gems. Used with permission.

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Mali Garnet Value

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Without question, the high-value range for Mali garnets is reserved for those with extremely rare chrome-green color. In general, green, yellow, and green-yellow stones command higher prices than brownish stones. As with any gem, carat, clarity, and cut affect the value dramatically, but dispersion is a special value factor for Mali garnets.

Mali garnets - various colors
Mali garnets in various colors. Photo courtesy of Barbara Smigel, Artistic Colored Stones.

In the year following the discovery of Mali garnets, a great deal of material was produced, and the popularity of this pretty stone soared. Although prices were initially very high, they soon dropped. Recent years have seen far smaller amounts produced. This has resulted in a price increase. Since large rough is rare in this variety, price per carat rises dramatically with size.

Yellow Mali garnet
Yellow Mali garnet, 1.41 cts. © All That Glitters. Used with permission.
octopus carving
An olive-green Mali garnet octopus carving, 2½" high, by artist Ronald Stevens. Photo courtesy of liveauctioneers.com and I.M. Chait Gallery/Auctioneers.

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Mali Garnet - custom pendant
Custom pendant with Mali garnet. Submitted by Sandra. © Dan Stair Custom Gemstones. Used with permission.

Gemological study has established that Mali garnets have a composition somewhere between grossular (calcium aluminum silicate) and andradite (calcium iron silicate). This blend is sometimes called "grandite."

Mali garnets are predominantly grossular, but the variable admixture of andradite changes its characteristics in at least one important way. While this hybrid seems to favor its grossular parent in terms of refractive index (1.77 in most specimens) and hardness, its superb dispersion comes from its andradite heritage.

Some rare Mali garnets may show a color change from grayish green in fluorescent light to brown in incandescent light. Nevertheless, most color change garnets are a pyrope-spessartite blend.

Mined from alluvial deposits, most Mali garnet rough typically shows rounded, waterworn shapes.

Faceted stones with a light body color will show off their brilliance spectacularly.

heart-cut gem
Golden, heart-cut Mali garnet, 1.22 cts, 5.6 x 6.6 x 4.7 mm. Photo courtesy of liveauctioneers.com and Simrit Collections.

Enhancements

No known synthetics or enhancements for this gemstone are known on the market.

Sources

The Kayes region of Mali is the only known source of this gemstone.

Grossular-Andradite series garnets - Kayes region
Andradite-grossular series garnets (Mali garnets), Nioro du Sahel Circle, Kayes Region, Mali. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

Care

No special precautions are necessary when setting or wearing these gems, so they're suitable for all jewelry uses. Our garnet engagement ring guide has more information on garnet jewelry.

Unlike some of their relatives, Mali garnets aren't heat sensitive. However, you should still clean these garnets with warm water, detergent, and a soft brush. Consult our gemstone care guide and gemstone jewelry cleaning guide for more information.

gold ring with grandite gem
Custom ring, 18k yellow gold with a bezel-set, golden-green Mali garnet, 4.28 cts. Photo courtesy of liveauctioneers.com and San Rafael Auction Gallery.

Joel E. Arem, Ph.D., FGA

Dr. Joel E. Arem has more than 60 years of experience in the world of gems and minerals. After obtaining his Ph.D. in Mineralogy from Harvard University, he has published numerous books that are still among the most widely used references and guidebooks on crystals, gems and minerals in the world.

Co-founder and President of numerous organizations, Dr. Arem has enjoyed a lifelong career in mineralogy and gemology. He has been a Smithsonian scientist and Curator, a consultant to many well-known companies and institutions, and a prolific author and speaker. Although his main activities have been as a gem cutter and dealer, his focus has always been education. joelarem.com


Barbara Smigel, PhD. GG

Barbara Smigel is a GIA certified gemologist, facetor, jewelry designer, gem dealer, gemology instructor and creator of the well-regarded educational websites acstones.com and bwsmigel.info.


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