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Spessartite : the burning gem!

by Julie MIALET 22 Dec 2022

In the large family of garnets, I would like to mention the spessartite. 

This gem is a variety of alumina garnet discovered in 1880 in Spessart, Bavaria, Germany, from which it takes its name. Its fiery colour range is from bright orange to orange-red to red-brown. It is best appreciated in the light of a sunset. 

It owes its colour to manganese, which is directly integrated into its chemical composition. This garnet is distinguished by its very special diamond-like brilliance, which makes spessartite an exceptional stone, both for fine jewellery and for collectors looking for that unique orange tone. 

It is a medium hard stone (7-7.5/10, mohs scale), easy to set on various jewels. 

Spessartite deposits are found in California, Brazil and Nigeria. For red spessartite, it is possible to find it in Afghanistan, Madagascar or Pakistan. There is also a very special deposit in Kenya, which offers garnets with a "colour change" effect, consisting mainly of spessartite garnet and pyrope garnet. 

The spessartite in high jewellery : 

This rare stone, which was rarely used in jewellery, has been taking its revenge for some time! 

Indeed, it was in 2013 that Cartier offered it in its "L'Odyssée de Cartier, Parcours d'un style" collection, bringing together several exceptional pieces featuring spessartite garnets. The magnificent L'Odyssée de Cartier bracelet features a panther encircling a 63.55-carat spessartite.

The ring, meanwhile, features a 39.18-carat sugarloaf spessartite.

Cartier has given free rein to its imagination and other bracelets and earrings have been added to the series. 

In 2018 it is the turn of the house of Dior to offer the public a collection entitled "Dior Dior Dior" based on the art of lace. 

"Dentelle Popeline", available in bracelets, rings or earrings, is a clever mix of coloured gemstones (tourmaline, pink sapphire, yellow sapphire, garnets) and spessartite garnets. The gold is worked very finely, the result is airy and superbly coloured. 

Dior has shown us the versatility of this rare stone in the sweetest of ways. 

Finally, we can also find spessartite garnets in several Van Cleef & Arpels collections, mainly small round faceted stones to accentuate the colour gradations in the "Cadrans Extraordinaires" collection. Note, however, the presence of more imposing stones in the Souliers Précieux jewel from the "Four Grimm tales". 

Myths, beliefs and legends :

In ancient times, each stone had a meaning related to the cosmos, garnet being associated with the planet Mars, which is perfectly suited to spessartite whose fiery colour reminds us of strength and power. 

The garnet family is traditionally associated with the month of January and the zodiacal sign of Aquarius. 

In lithotherapy, it is the stone of the recovered appetite and it also allows to get rid of feelings of guilt.

If you are interested in spessartite garnets, do not hesitate to discover what Les Pierres de Julie has to offer in store...

We are also available for any free expertise of your jewelry, for that you can send an email with your photos to

Whether you're interested in buying a piece of jewellery or a stone, a free jewelry appraisal or jewelry resale, Pierres de Julie welcomes you to its Parisian boutique in the Village Suisse, a stone's throw from the Ecole Militaire and the Esplanade des Invalides.

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