Mali Garnet Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

“Andradite-Grossular Series” (Mali Garnet), Nioro du Sahel Circle, Kayes Region, Mali. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. 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 the extremely rare chrome-green color. In general, yellow, green, and green-yellow stones command higher prices than brownish stones. As with any gem, carat (size), clarity, and cut affect the value dramatically, with dispersion being a special value factor for Mali garnets.

A great deal of material was produced in the year following its discovery. The popularity of this pretty stone soared, and prices were initially very high. However, prices soon dropped. In recent years, far smaller amounts have been produced, which has resulted in an increase in price. Since large-size rough is rare in this variety, price per carat increases dramatically with size.

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 /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 /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 /ct to /ct
African to /ct to /ct
Darker reds to /ct

Mandarin

Fine Color: O 4/5
Mandarin Orange All sizes
to /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 /ct to /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
Mali Garnet - Yellow Faceted Stone

“1.41-ct Yellow Garnet,” Mali. © All That Glitters. Used with permission.

Comments

The Mali garnet has an exceptional family tree. Gemological study has proven that this gem’s composition is intermediate 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. This hybrid seems to favor its grossular parent in terms of refractive index (1.77 in most specimens) and hardness. However, 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. Most color change garnets are a pyrope-spessartite blend.

Most Mali garnet rough is mined from alluvial deposits and shows the rounded, water-worn shape typical of that source. Faceted stones with a light body color will show off their brilliance spectacularly. No special precautions are necessary when setting or wearing these gems. They are suitable for all jewelry uses.

Note: Mali garnets and Malaia or Malaya garnets are distinct varieties of garnet.

Enhancements

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

Mali Garnet - Variety

Mali Garnet Varieties. Photo courtesy of Barbara Smigel, Artistic Colored Stones.

Sources

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

Care

In general, garnets are best cleaned with warm water, detergent, and a soft brush. However, unlike some of their brethren, Mali garnet is not heat sensitive. Consult our Gemstone Care Guide and Gemstone Jewelry Cleaning Guide for more information.