4. August 2014 08:03 /
Color change garnet is a rare and valuable member of the garnet group of gemstones. It is highly desired for its distinct ability to change color depending on the type of light source with which it is viewed. The ability to change color is often erroneously mistaken for pleochroism, which is the ability to exhibit different colors depending on the viewing angle, whereas the phenomena of color change is not dependent on the viewing angle.
Color change garnet is typically a hybrid-mix of spessartite and pyrope garnet and in many cases may also contain traces of grossularite or almandine garnet.With color change garnet, the intensity of color-shift can be quite dramatic, often surpassing that of the finest alexandrite. Most color change garnet will exhibit a brownish-green or bronze color when viewed under natural daylight, but when viewed under incandescent light, it will appear rose to pink in color. There are a variety of other color change combinations possible.
Color change ability of a gemstone is an extremely rare occurrence that is expected to occur in a small number of gemstones. The color change ability is present in rare specimens that have formed with two light transmission windows (rather than one) that are approximately the same size.
Other than the ability to change hue, color change garnet is identical to Malaya (malaia) garnet by composition. Color change garnet can be easily identified from other garnet when viewed under different light sources. Color change garnet can sometimes be mistaken for alexandrite, but can easily be distinguished by its distinct level of hardness. Alexandrite is also rarely found in larger sizes, often weighing less than just a half carat, whereas color change garnet is commonly found in sizes well over one carat.
The changing colors of the Color Change Garnet:
Color change garnet changes hue based upon the source of light. The most common shift is from red to green. In daylight, color change garnet can appear green to gray and in some cases, blue. When viewed under direct incandescent light, colors can appear violet to purple similar to amethyst. Under candlelight, color change garnet can exhibit a deep almost blood-like color. Other color combinations that are possible are reddish-orange to red, greenish-yellow to pinkish-red, light-red to purplish-red and bluish-green to light violet-purple.
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