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Natural Malaia Garnet

Malaia is name given to garnets orange to pinkish orange to red in color which do not match the color and gemological properties of any of the other more well known varieties of garnet. (Some authors spell it Malaya). Indeed, the word malaia means prostitute or out of the family in Swahili. Primarily composed of spessartine and pyrope, the color and gemological properties occur in a range which can overlap with grossularite, rhodolite, and pyrope. Some of them may change color under daylight and incandescent lighting probably possibly due to the presence of vanadium or chromium in trace amounts.


Find your Malaia Garnet

Our Malaia Garnet(s) are available in various shapes, sizes and colors. 616 Malaia Garnet(s), too many to look through? You may select any combination of search options. Colors grade into each other and you can search for more than one color at once. For a better selection, try selecting two or three colors, -- your first choice plus the two closest colors.

Shape Length (mm) Width (mm)
Category Weight (cts) Price (USD)
Color range
orangy red
yellow-green or green-yellow
red-orange or orange-red
blue
reddish orange
purple
orange
reddish purple
yellowish orange
red-purple or purple-red
orangy yellow
strongly purplish red
yellow
slightly purplish red
greenish yellow
red

Malaia Garnet Profile

Color information: orangey pink, champagne, orange brown, copper-pink.
Refractive Index: 1.73 - 1.81
Chemical Composition: [Mg3 + Mn3]AL2(SIO4)
Hardness: 7 - 7.5
Density: 3.65 - 4.20
Crystal Group: Cubic
Ocurrence: Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar
Sign of the Zodiac: N/A
Month of the year: N/A
Malaia Garnet
The only commercial deposits of Malaya occur in the Umba Valley in Kenya, in Northern Tanzania and in South Madagascar near Bekily. Large sizes are uncommon and most of the rough is small.

Malaia garnet can be difficult to separate from grossular hessonites because the two varieties can be identical in color and can also overlap in both density and refractive index. Specific identification of Malaya (pyrope-spessartine garnets) normally requires chemical analysis. Malaia garnets contain Mn, and Mg, with traces of Ca while grossular hessonites do not contain Mn, or Mg and contain more Ca. A spectroscope is the easiest way to separate the two varieties. The absorption features are due mostly to Mn2+ and Fe2+. Assignmnent of the bands at 503, 610 and 687nm to Fe2+ and at 483 nm to Mn2+ is consistent with data from other literature. Additional bands at 459 and 525nm can be assigned to both Fe+2 and Mn2+. Additionally, an intense band between 410-430 can signify of the presence of Mn2+ or Fe2+. Well equipped labs can also use an FTIR (Fourier Infared Spectrometer) and EDXRF (Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy) to determine the chemistry.

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