Mali Garnet Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

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

Mali Garnet

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.

Mali Garnet Value

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.

The International Gem Society (IGS) has a list of businesses offering gemstone appraisal services.

Garnet Value via Gem Price Guide

Almandine

Top Color: oR, R, PR, rP 6/4
Almandine All sizes
to /ct

Almandine/Pyrope Blend ("Mozambique")

Red-Brown Colors
"Mozambique" All sizes
to /ct

Rhodolite (Almandine/Pyrope Blend)

Fine Color: 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

Andradite

Fine Color: G 5/4
Andradite All sizes
to /ct

Demantoid

Demantoid to 1 carat 1 to 3 carats
to ,200/ct to ,000/ct

Grossular

Grossular .5 to 1 carat 1 to 5 carats 5 carats plus
Mint Green (Merelani) 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

Hessonite

Fine Color: yO 4/5
Hessonite Garnet All sizes
to /ct

Tsavorite

Fine Color: G 6/5
Tsavorite .5 to 1 carat 1 to 2 carats 2 carats plus
Faceted to /ct to ,500/ct to ,000/ct

Mali Garnets (Andradite/Grossular Blend)

Mali Garnet All sizes
to /ct

Malaya (Malaia) Garnets

Malaya Garnet .5 to 1 carat 1 to 5 carats 5 carats plus
to /ct to /ct to /ct

Pyrope

Fine Color: R 6/5
Pyrope 1 carat plus
/ct

Chrome Pyrope

Chrome Pyrope All sizes
to /ct

Spessartite

Spessartite Reds .5 to 3 carats 3 to 6 carats
Little 3 Mine to ,000/ct to ,000/ct
African to /ct to /ct
Darker reds to /ct

Mandarin

Fine Color: O 4/5
Mandarin Orange All sizes
to ,200/ct

Uvarovite

Uvarovite 10 carats plus
Druzy to /ct

Star Garnet

Star Garnet All sizes
6 ray star to /ct
4 ray star to /ct

Color Change

Color Change .5 to 1 carat 1 to 6 carats
Africa to ,500/ct to ,000/ct
US to /ct to /ct

Cabochons

Cabochons All Sizes
Common red to purple to /ct

Mali Garnet Information

Data Value
Name Mali Garnet
Is a Variety of Andradite-Grossular
Crystallography Isometric (cubic)
Refractive Index 1.760-1.780
Colors Green, yellow-green, yellow, gold, and brown.
Luster Vitreous to resinous.
Hardness 7
Wearability Very Good
Fracture Conchoidal
Specific Gravity 3.49-3.85
Birefringence None
Cleavage None
Dispersion 0.028-0.057
Heat Sensitivity No
Enhancements None known.
Special Care Instructions None
Transparency Translucent to transparent.
Birthstone January
Formula Ca3Fe23+(SiO4)3 to Ca3Al2(SiO4)(Calcium, iron/aluminum silicate, varies with composition)
Pleochroism None.
Optics Isotropic. May show anomalous birefringence.
Etymology After the African nation of Mali, the only known source of this gemstone.
Occurrence Alluvial deposits
Phenomena Color change (rare)
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.

Comments

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 pyropespessartite 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.