Friday, May 29, 2009

Merelani Mint Garnets

Many people don't realize that garnets are not just red gemstones. They come in a great variety of colors. Some of the most sought after have always been in the green family. Demantoid garnets are usually light green and have a diamond-like brilliance. They also can have a diamond-like price. Large specimens are very rare. Another favorite has been Tsavorite. They are a beautiful, rich, emerald green. A new comer among the green garnets is the "Merelani Mint" Garnet.

Merelani Mint garnets are named for the Merelani Hills of Tanzania where they are usually found. They are a close relative of Tsavorites. Both are categorized as grossular garnets. The only real difference is the color saturation. Tsavorites are colored deep green by chromium or vanadium. Merelani Mint garnets are just paler cousins. A few years ago they were often dismissed as lower quality tsavorites, but many people prefer their more delicate, somewhat subtler shade and they have been quickly gaining an avid following. As their popularity has grown, of couse, so has their value. Prices of several hundred dollars per carat are common and I have seen them as high as a thousand dollars per carat for top grade specimens. Like tsavorites, large pieces, over 3 carats are very rare.

Visit my website to see more Merelani Mint Garnets as well as other garnets.

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