Rhodolite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Fancy Brilliant Octagon Cut Rhodolite Garnet. © Dan Stair Custom Gemstones. Used with permission.


Rhodolite Value

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

Garnet Value via Gem Price Guide

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 (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
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
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

Rhodolite Information

Data Value
Name Rhodolite
Is a Variety of Almandine-Pyrope
Colors Purplish red, red-purple, reddish purple.
Crystallography Isometric.
Refractive Index 1.745-1.761
Luster Vitreous.
Hardness 7-7.5
Fracture Conchoidal
Specific Gravity 3.79-3.80 (Tanzania); 3.83-3.89 (Zimbabwe); 3.84-3.89 (North Carolina).
Birefringence None.
Cleavage None
Dispersion 0.026
Luminescence None.
Luminescence Present No
Transparency Transparent.
Absorption Spectrum Rhodolites show an almandine spectrum. Almandines have a distinctive, diagnostic absorption spectrum: A band 200 Å wide at 5760 (strong) and also strong bands at 5260 and 5050. Lines may appear at 6170 and 4260. With a spectroscope, you’ll see this pattern of 3 (or sometimes 5) bands in all almandines as well as most garnets with a significant almandine component.
Phenomena Color change (rare).
Birthstone January (garnet).



= 1.750-1.760 (Zimbabwe); 1.760-1.761 (North Carolina); 1.745-1.760 (Tanzania).

Rhodolite is intermediate in composition between almandine and pyrope, with a ratio of Al to Fe of 2 to 1 (that is, 2 pyrope + 1 almandine). The distinctiveness of rhodolite is in its color, which is nearly always a purplish red.

The absorption spectrum always shows almandine lines. Inclusions include apatite crystals (North Carolina) and any of the other inclusions found in almandine. The color of a garnet is misleading, and a chemical analysis is required to show whether a garnet is an almandine or pyrope, or a mixed crystal.


N= 1.750-1.760 (Zimbabwe);

1.760-1.761 (North Carolina);

1.745-1.760 (Tanzania).


North Carolina: rhododendron red. lilac, pinkish.

Sri Lanka; Madagascar; India; Tanzania; Zimbabwe; Brazil.

Stone Sizes:

Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C): 74.3, 22.1 (Tanzania); 16.5 (North Carolina).


The original locality for rhodolite was Cowee Creek, Macon County, North Carolina. Stones from this locality are usually very small (under 1-2 carats), but new finds in Africa have yielded gems over 75 carats. Material from the North Pare Mountains, Tanzania, may show a color change, blue in daylight to purplish red in incandescent light, similar to alexandrite (N= 1.765, S.G. = 3.88).

Some say the name rhodolite comes from the Greek word, rhodon, meaning rose. Other scholars compare the name to rhododendron. In either case, the name is comparing the color to a flower.