Peach garnets became quite popular in the last a few years; the most desirable stones will have a bright, medium light orangy pink color. It was used as an abrasive for thousands of years and celebrated as a tough gemstone for carving by ancient cultures. Although the most common and well-known ones are in red color spectrum, green and yellow varieties started gaining popularity in the last two centuries. Early gemology books described garnet color range as “almost all colors but blue” until the beautiful color-change garnets, more specifically pyrope-spessartine variety, from East Africa were discovered in the 1980s. This particular variety displays bluish violet in daylight and purple in incandescent light. During the decades that followed, several more color varieties emerged from different locations. Gem garnet varieties are almost always solid solution series of three garnet species. Even though rhodolite, as an example, is described as “a variety of pyrope-almandine species with purple color component,” the chemical breakdown of rhodolite would reveal some amount of spessartine too. This perpetual mixture of different species is essentially the reason for many color varieties. Therefore, it is exciting but not difficult to grasp the concept of “peach garnets” also exhibiting color-shift in many examples because they belong to pyrope-spessartine species. The trace amount of vanadium content creates the color-change and color-shift effects within this series. CAPTION 1: Peach garnet from Mahenge, 2.35ct. Courtesy of Earth’sTreasury. Cut and photo by Jeff Hapeman. Peach garnets are mined in several different locations in East Africa, notably in Mahenge, Tanzania. Their popularity has soared among collectors and designers in recent years. While some examples are pale and low in saturation, the term peach is used for a range of orangy red to orangy pink colored gar- nets. The most desirable stones will have a bright, medium light orangy pink color. They are sometimes compared to padparadscha, however, the brownish component is distinctive. Nevertheless, the colors described above are exciting combinations and are a welcome addition to the colored stone palette. Currently, the supply of peach garnet is stable and stones of 2ct or larger are available and affordable, especially compared to other gems exhibiting similar color. The chart below reflects the current wholesale prices and the trend is worth following in the coming years.
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