Pyrope Almandine Garnet: Red to Brownish Red, Dark Red to Purplish Red to Reddish purple Rhodolite Garnet: Must be Purple
HARDNESS & TOUGHNESS
Hardness: 7 – 7.5 Toughness: Good
Australia, Africa, China, India, Madagascar, USA
Rhodolite Garnet is a combination of Pyrope and almandine and is a red to reddish pink and violet also called ‘grape garnet’. This exceptionally beautiful Pyrope/Almandine Garnet, the color of fine French Claret wine has become highly prized due to its optical properties. Rhodolites may have a strong to very strong reaction to magnetism. Although testing magnetic reactions isn’t a basis for a positive gem identification, it can help make quick separations between gems of similar appearance.
Gem-quality rhodolites typically have no eye-visible inclusions and, therefore, usually receive the highest clarity grade for Type II gems, which includes all garnets. With no cleavage and a hardness of 7-7.5, rhodolites make durable stones for any type of jewelry setting. However, take care when cleaning these gems. Although a rhodolite may have no eye-visible inclusions, smaller inclusions may burst due to extreme heat or ultrasound and fracture the gem. Avoid mechanical cleaning systems and stick to a soft brush, mild detergent, and warm water, instead.