Rhodolite

Rhodolite January’s birthstone
Colours Red with a violet tint
Family

Garnet: Mg3Al2(SiO4)3

Hardness

7 to 7.5

Refractive Index

1.730  - 1.760

Specific Gravity

3.66 – 3.80

Crystal System

Cubic

Enhancements Not known to be enhanced
Major Sources

Namibia, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Mali, India Kenya, Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Russia, Madagascar

Warnings for Care Fracturing can occur with moderate to intense heat

Rhodolite Facts

The name Rhodolite is taken from the Greek words "rhodon and lithos" and literally translated they mean "rose stone". Possessing a color reminiscent of the rhododendron flower, this name was first used in the late 19th century to describe garnets discovered in North Carolina. Although "Rhodo"" is a common prefix use to descried several red gemstones such as Rhodochrosite and Rhodonite.  The North Carolina and in fact all deposits of Rhodolite are a mixture of Almandite and Pyrope Garnet. This is a solid solution series that accounts for the range colours in this captivating stone from rose pink to red.

Rhodolites red hue being not as intense as that found in Pyrope, does from time to time lead to it being misidentified in the rough as Ruby. The most highly prizes colour is raspberry red.

The excellent hardness of 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale, coupled with its high refractive index make this stone a popular, beautiful and durable choice for use in jewellery.

Garnet is the birthstone for those who birthdays fall in January, or for those born under the star sign of Aquarius.

Topics Of Interest
Rhodolite – What Causes the Colour
Purchasing Rhodolite
Mineable Deposits
Rhodolite - Common Treatments
Important & Famous Rhodolite
Rhodolite – The Legend

Rhodolite – What Causes the Colour

Rhodolites chemical composition is a solid solution series from Aldmandine Garnet  (Magnesium Aluminium Silicate) to Pyrope Garnet (Iron Aluminium Silicate). Its colour therefore sits between the intense red brown of Pyrope and the red violet of Almandine. As such the causal agent of colour is its basal chemical composition

Purchasing Rhodolite

Color
Purple-red, best described as a raspberry red is the most sought after color for Rhodolite. Although red with a violet tint to red hues are also popular.

Lighting
Rhodolite is definitely a natural light stone. Under artificial light the stones often appear rather "flat"  as much of the inherent lustre from their high refractivity is lost.

Clarity
Rhodolite Garnet is transparent, and unlike many Garnets is often cases free from inclusions. Unless low cost cabochon material is sought only eye clean pieces should be considered.

Cut
Rhodolite is cut in a variety of cuts and shapes, with no specific preference other than the usual fashion demands which  dictate which cuts dominate on a year by year basis.

Mineable Deposits

Deposits are found in the USA (North Carolina), Sri Lanka, Brazil, Zambia and Tanzania. The most beautiful  Rhodolite is currently mined in Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, and from a relatively new deposit in the Kangala region of Tanzania, characterised by an intense raspberry hue

Rhodolite – Common Treatments

There is no know artificial enhanced treatment for Rhodolite.

Important & Famous Rhodolite

While its is possible that important or even famous Rhodolites have existed through the ages, in all likelihood they have been misidentified as ruby or other such stones, as such there is no record of this stone, before its apparent discovery in the late 19th century.

Rhodolite – The Legend

Garnet is the birthstone for those who birthdays fall in January, or for those born under the star sign of Aquarius.
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