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Pyrope Garnet

The Gemstone Pyrope (Garnet)

Pyrope is the most well-known gemstone form of Garnet. The term Garnet describes a group name for several closely related minerals that form important gemstones, and Pyrope is an individual member mineral of the Garnet group. Its dark, blood-red color is distinct and attractive, and makes a fine Garnet gemstone. In the gem trade, the term Pyrope is rarely used on its own. It is either generically called "Garnet", or "Pyrope Garnet".
Chemical Formula Mg3Al2Si3O12
Color Red
Hardness 7 - 7.5
Crystal System Isometric
Refractive Index 1.720 - 1.760
SG 3.5 - 3.6
Transparency Transparent to translucent
Double Refraction None
Luster Vitreous
Cleavage None
Mineral Class Pyrope (Garnet)


Pyrope gemstones are often very clean and can be totally free of flaws and inclusions. Pyrope Garnets are usually a lighter color and more transparent then the similar Almandine Garnets, and sometimes have a very slight brownish tint. A well-known variety of Pyrope is the rose-red to violet variety, known as Rhodolite, has become a very popular gemstone. Rhodolite is not a pure Pyrope, but an intermediary between Pyrope and Almandine in composition, though closer to Pyrope.

Pyrope is cut into red Garnet gemstones and used in all forms of jewelery, especially rings, earrings, and pendants. It is also polished into cabochons and beads for use in bracelets and necklaces, and may be tumbled into smooth irregular stones for jewelry.

  • Color-Change Garnet  -   Garnet that exhibits a different color in natural and artificial light. Color-Change Garnet is a intermediary mix between the Pyrope and Spessartite (though closer in composition to Pyrope), and presents a color change from a light brownish, yellowish, or greenish in daylight to a pink or purplish color in incandescent light. A few rare specimens may even have a bluish color, which is extremely rare for Garnet.
  • Rhodolite  -  Rose-red form of Garnet with a light color or more purplish color than typical Garnet gemstones. It is usually an intermediary variety between Pyrope and Almandine, though more closely towards Pyrope in composition.

Garnet gemstones are not enhanced, and their colors are always natural.

The original deposits of Pyrope were in Bohemia, in the Czech Republic. These sources are more historical then practical, and little material comes from there today. The main Pyrope deposits are in Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, India, Sri Lanka, China, and the U.S. (Arizona and North Carolina).

Most dark red gemstones on the market are either Pyrope or Almandine Garnets. Almandine and Pyrope Garnets can be very difficult to distinguish from each other, though Pyrope usually has the lighter color of the two, and is also lighter in weight. Spinel and Rubellite Tourmaline can also resemble Pyrope, and Ruby is usually a lighter red color.

Pyrope PHOTOS [Click photos for more details]
Color-Change Garnet is not usually associated as being a Pyrope Garnet. However, Pyrope is the closest Garnet form, so those pictures are listed here in addition to the standard Pyrope photos.

Pyrope IN THE ROUGH PHOTOS [Click photos for more details]

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