Rhodolite is a pyrope variety of red mineral that uses the iron within the compound to exhibit a bright garnet of excellent brilliance and fire. Rhodolite Garnets have a purplish-brown cast to them that creates a deep luster that is well shown-off with faceting. On the brown side of this garnet are shades of root beer and deep burgundy whose rich tones are often set in gold. The sweeter grape-mauve of Rhodolite has pinkish-violet tones that show nicely in silver and gold.
The cubic crystal formation of Rhodolite magnifies the lively colors of the gemstone in scarlet, raspberry, and plum browns, bringing the deeper hues to light when faceted. Some stones may be polished into cabochons, but the color is best suited to multiple cuts in ovals, cushions, and square. Because of the eye clean quality and rich color that needs no enhancement, Rhodolite is a valuable stone for both center pieces and flanking accent stones. The metallic luster naturally within the rosy color draws a high refractive index to produce a genuine red beauty rivaling ruby and rubellite.
Rhodolite comes from the Greek word “rhodon” meaning rose-like, and just as the flower, the gemstone can come in a range of velvety crimson tones. The base metal that the stone is found in is highly metallic, appearing sometimes as a large chunk of coppery gold flecked with reds and purples. This mineral has a vitreous luster when polished, a glinting quality it brings to Rhodolite. One of the most famous Rhodolites ever made public was the sale of Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis’ garnet cabochon flower brooch dating from the Nineteenth Century. It was sold at a Sotheby’s estate auction for $145,000 in 1996. That same year a Rhodolite Garnet in rough nearly 100 feet across was discovered in Australia, the largest find to date.
Compound : Magnesium Aluminum Silicate
Mohs Scale(Hardness) : 7-7.5
Found : Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, U.S.