Introduction: Malaya garnets are a variety in the garnet family within the pyrope-spessartine solid solution series.

Colors: light to dark, slightly pinkish-orange, reddish-orange, yellowish-orange. Sometimes garnets are incorrectly called Malaya garnets if they have a pinkish-orange color even if they don’t fall with the
gemological properties of the variety.

Clarity: Malaya garnets are of clarity Type II. Gems in this type typically grow with some minor inclusions in nature that may be eye visible but usually are well hidden or require magnification.  Identifiable inclusions include rutile, pyrite and apatite crystals.

Stone Sizes: Typically sizes don’t exceed 10 ct

Localities: Tanzania, Kenya

Treatments: None

-Refractive Index: 1.760 (-0.020,-0.18)
-Birefringence: None (singly refractive)
-Optic Character: Singly refractive (sometimes shows anomalous double refraction (ADR))
-Specific Gravity: 3.78 to 3.85
-Hardness: 7-7.5
Toughness: Fair to good
-Chemical Composition: (Mg,Mn)3Al2(SiO4)3
-Cause of color: manganese, some iron
-Absorption Spectra: strong lines at 4100, 4200, 4300 (occasionally merging to form a single wide band
below 4350); also shows a combination of other lines at 4600, 4800, 5040, 5200 and 5730
-Fluorescence: None
-Cleavage: None
-Phenomena: None

Name: Malaya is from the Swahili word for “prostitute” or “outcast” since it didn’t fit neatly into any of the known garnet species.

Dates: All species of garnets can be used as the birthstone for January. Garnets are also the gem of choice for second anniversaries.

Care: Ultrasonics are usually safe but risky with liquid inclusions. Steam cleaners should never be used.  The safest method for cleaning is with warm soapy water. Abrupt temperature changes will likely cause fracturing.

To see available malaya garnets, click here.