It was long believed that the best Demantoid Garnet [the emerald green form of Andradite garnet] only came from Russia. However around 2002, beautiful apple green to lime green to hunter green Demantoid garnet started appearing at the Tucson show. This gorgeous material was from Iran. The clarity ranged from specimen to high facet grade.
The stones below were cut from a parcel of Demantoid from Iran. Notice the unique bicolor stones. This material tended to form in shells of lime green and hunter green. Most of the stones have a heavily included core and got cleaner moving out. This leads to some very wonderful effects. The Iranian material also, occasionally, displayed the horse tail inclusions as does the Russian mineral. Most of the cleaner facet material is small. Click on any of the pictures below to see a close-up shot of each view.
The Demantoid Garnet cabs very well. Notice the bicolored growth patterns on the cab below; some of the cabs display alternating layers of Andradite Garnet and Demantoid Garnet (top row, far right and bottom row, far left). These stones were slightly backlight to bring out the full impact of the colors.
Here are some of the beautiful crystals...
This mineral has a very high refractive index [about 1.88, over the limit], permitting much shallower cutting. I rough cut this material with a 360-grit plate, followed with a fine cut on a 1200-grit plate, and finished with a 14k polish.
Demantoid Garnet has a hardness of about 7, making it more suitable for all types of jewelry.
To return to the Rockcutters.us main page, click here