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is this malaya garnet a keeper?

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kcoursolle

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Hey folks, I decided to go with a malaya instead of a spessartite. Hopefully that doesn''t dissappoint a few of you die hard spessartite lovers. I really like the color on the malayas a little better. What do you think of this one, is she a keeper?

It''s 6.7 x 8.2 mm, 2.41 carats, eye clean, and he described it as "slightly orangy cherry red color with good brilliance and is not overly dark" which is pretty much exactly what I wanted. The price is reasonable for personally cut stone rather than a factory cut, so the price isn''t an issue for me. The cut shape is a modified rectangular cushion, and I think there is a story with the interesting table he gave it. Maybe there was a flaw he avoided or something. I''m going to ask him about that and let you know what he says. Actually though, I kind of like the unique table, it gives it a bit of personality.

Thanks for your opinions.

MalayaBarion.jpg
 

ilovesparkles

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That is beautiful! I love the deep red color and the cut is just so unique like you said! I think the table is funky and really gives it character! Go for it I say!
 

kcoursolle

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Thanks I love sparkles, by the way hopefully you''ll get your stone soon and will post pictures. The pic on your thread looks lovely.
 

nicky newark

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I have several of Dan''s stones. He does nice work.
 

PrecisionGem

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That doesnt really look like a malaya garnet. Malaya garnet is more of a honey orange with a touch a pink. A lot of dealers call almost any garnet malaya. The Nigerians are big on this, they sell these red garnets as Malaya. The difference in price is rather substantial between a red garnet and a true Malaya. From that picture, I wouldnt think that is a Malaya garnet.
 

MINE!!

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I agree PG.. I thought the same thing when I saw it... I have seen stones called raspberry garnets like this... but I thought the Malaya garnets were less.. red than this one.. But I could defintely be wrong... but I personally would not have thought this was one either if I just saw the pic and not the name... Uknow?
 

movie zombie

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pretty dark for a malaya....and red, too. but i do like it!

i forgive you for not getting spess.....and who is dan?

i really do like it. i hope its as nice ''live and in person'' as it looks on my monitor.

movie zombie
 

kcoursolle

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Hi there, I really like the color of this stone and he did describe it as orangy red, so the photo could be slightly misleading. I really don''t have any reason not to believe him unless the person who he bought the rough from misled him, but maybe I should ask if it is really a malaya. What would be the going rate for this stone if it were not a malaya versus if it was?? I thought his prices on his website were pretty reasonable, but I want to get what I''m paying for. His customer service has been fantastic and he seems like a very honest business man. He managed to find a stone of the right color, size, and shape for me that he cut himself that looks great. He also was very friendly and easy to work with. Personally, I would highly recommend him. Dan Stair is at customgemstones.com for those who don''t know him. He has a 10 day return policy if I get it and it doesn''t work out, so I will probably purchase this stone.
 

colormyworld

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Hi kcoursolle,
Let me start off by saying that I am not an expert. What knowledge I have aquired has come from collecting and a close relationship with a GIA trained gemologist who also does faceting. He has two malaya garnets.One of which in indoor lighting looks very much like the one you have pictured above, but outside in natural light it takes on a more red orangy color hue. Malaya is a combination of pyrope-spessartite. It can be orange,reddish-orange,red-orange. With brown or pink modifiers to the orange hue.
It looks like a very beauitful stone to me.
 

PrecisionGem

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Im sure that Dan in not purposely mis representing the stone. I would think he bought the rough, having been told it was Malaya. The rough dealers in Nigeria sell these stones, calling them Malaya. They are not pirced even close to a real malaya. A rough to cut over 2 cts would need to be around 7 or 8 cts. A stone this size would cost from $200 to $500 depending on how well you can buy. I don''t know what the stone you''re looking at is selling for, but it should be $150 to $300 per ct.
Have a look at Richard Wise''s web site. He has a picture of a nice Malaya. There is also a chapter in his book on Malaya and what the color should be.
 

valeria101

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''Malaya'' is mostly used to describe a color or a type of garnet (described as a mix of several, sort of ''all others'' by any account)? Every yellow-to-red color seems to come under the name, with the price going by the color (hopefully)... so... I assumed t is a name for a type of garnet with many guises, not a color. Perhaps the honey and peach is the highest priced, but... there seems to be more of a range.


On the other hand...
The picture and description sound attractive, whatever the name of the rose.
 

movie zombie

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even spess can be red....! there is a wide color variation with stones. this one is lovely. when do you get to see it?

movie zombi
 

Richard M.

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Date: 4/29/2006 9:48:50 PM
Author: PrecisionGem
That doesnt really look like a malaya garnet. Malaya garnet is more of a honey orange with a touch a pink. A lot of dealers call almost any garnet malaya. The Nigerians are big on this, they sell these red garnets as Malaya. The difference in price is rather substantial between a red garnet and a true Malaya. From that picture, I wouldnt think that is a Malaya garnet.

All,

What is that red stone the Nigerians are selling as "Malaya?" With all you garnet experts on this thread, maybe you can help me out. Just what is this "Malaya?" Where did it get its name? Is it a garnet species? What are its physical properties and chemistry: R.I., S.G., spectrum? What are the predominant colors? Where is it found? Just what percentages of pyrope vs. spessartite are necessary in the solid-solution of the two types to classify a stone as "Malaya?" If one were to set out to identify one, just how would they go about it?

I know what GIA says about it but there seem to be other opinions as well. I''m sure you can help.

Richard M.
 

kcoursolle

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Thanks for all of your comments, this has gotten quite interesting! I have decided I will purchase this stone regardless if it is a malaya or not. I''ll let you know when I get it probably end of this week or early next week what I think of it in person. It''s exactly what I wanted, a beautiful color, a quality cut, and the perfect size...so why shouldn''t I buy it!? But whether it''s a malaya or not is another story...

I inquired to Dan what he thought, and the stone is from Nigeria and he described Malayas of this sort to be sort of a mutt stone with some spessartite, and some other stuff like pyrope. He also mentioned that naming malayas is somewhat controversial and that often it refers to a region where the stone was found. He mentioned that these roughs were fairly cheap because most of them were a little too dark.

Here''s the conclusion I''ve personally come to regarding this stone. I''m no expert, but this is what I think after putting all of my info together. I think that this stone is probably NOT a malaya. However, I love this stone regardless. Also, the price I am paying is waaaay under what precisiongem said I would pay for a malaya, so I think I am paying a resonable price for a beautiful stone...that just happens to be some other type of garnet.

So...since it''s probably not a malaya, we come to Richard''s question... If it''s not a malaya, what type of garnet is it??? I can''t answer this question, but I certainly am curious myself and would like to know what to call my new red beauty. Thanks for all of your feedback, it will be fun to get this stone and compare it in different lighting.
 

colormyworld

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Gene, after looking at your web site I notice a stone (#369) that looks very similar to the stone posted in this thread when compared side by side.
 

Richard M.

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Date: 4/30/2006 4:44:22 PM
Author: kcoursolle
He also mentioned that naming malayas is somewhat controversial and that often it refers to a region where the stone was found.

Isn''t Malaya in southeast Asia on the Malay Peninsula? Is that where the stones come from? Or is there a "Malaya" region of Nigeria? It isn''t listed in my World Atlas.

Somehow I missed the full name of Dan the cutter. Can you post it? It''s a very nice cut but I don''t understand why a Barion, used to deepen color in pale stones in addition to increasing brilliance, was chosen for a stone of this hue. Barions usually have extra-deep pavilions so you might check the depth below the girdle to be certain it will fit whatever setting you''ve chosen for it.

Richard M.
 

kcoursolle

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Dan said that the bottom of this stone has a barion cut, I noticed the similarities too! I think he was going for extra sparkle with the barion underside. The top has a scissors type of design. Dan''s full name is Dan Stair Jr. at customgemstones.com
 

kcoursolle

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Very cool article gene! How fun would it be to see a golf ball sized malaya garnet?! I''ll let you all know what I think of my new stone in a few days, thanks for all of the feedback.
 

Richard M.

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Date: 4/30/2006 7:44:18 PM
Author: PrecisionGem
I don''t really know what the exact garnet type would be, but all the Nigerian dealers call it Malaya, but I know it''s not Malaya.

Interesting comment. If you don''t know what it is, how do you "know" it''s not "Malaya?"

Here is what Richard Wise has to say about Malaya: http://www.secretsofthegemtrade.com/articles_7.htm


an excerpt from Wise: ''Technically the mixture of garnet species that makes up malaya is highly variable: 0-83% pyrope, 2-78% almandine, 2-94% spessartite, 0-24% grossular with no more than 4% andradite. As a practical matter the refractive index of approximately 1.765 overlaps only grossular but, unlike grossular, which has no distinct ultraviolet spectrum, malaya exhibits distinct bands at 504, 520 and 573A c. Stones in the following hues with a refractive index above 1.76 and below 1.78 can be safely termed Malaya.''

Okay, that''s Richard Wise''s ''take.'' I certainly agree that the composition is “highly variable!” He also claims the first so-called "Malaya" was found in 1960 in Tanzania. But the same pyrope-spessartine mixture has been mined in Sri Lanka for 1,000 years or more [Schmetzer and Bank.] The Sri Lankans just didn''t call it "Malaya," which is an ill-defined trade name for an arbitrarily-chosen color variety of the Pyrope-Spessartine solid-solution garnet series.

If you look at the property/color data from Wise and sources below, you might conclude as I have that “Malaya/Malaia” is pretty much what any seller or self-appointed expert decides it is. The trade name has become firmly entrenched in the gem trade, however, even if there’s tremendous disagreement about what it is! Basically it’s found in the pyrope-spessartine series (with extremely variable amounts of almandine, grossular and andradite.) In fact some “Malaya” described in the literature is primarily pyrope-almandine with very little spessartite.

A thorough 1981 study recommended that since this pyrope-spessartine is not unique to the African location, no new name should be adopted [John Rouse, "Garnet" Butterworth''s, 1986.] He reported the following properties: R.I., 1.750 to 1.780; S.G., 3.80 to 3.95; typical colors for the stuff being marketed as Malaia: orange to orange-red with pale tones and pinkish hues not uncommon. Absorption spectra: Mn lines at 412 and 432.

But by that time the name "Malaya" was being promoted heavily in the U.S. In their exhaustive garnet study published in the 1980s, GIA researchers Carolyn Stockton and the late Vincent Manson decided to give in to the marketers. They described "Malaia" as a yellowish orange to red-orange variety of pyrope-spessartine. They didn''t give it specific properties so far as I can find. But GIA coursework did, as follows:

“Malaia, light to dark, slightly pinkish orange, reddish orange, yellowish orange. R.I. 1.760 (+.020, -.018). Spectrum: strong lines at 410, 420, 43 nm (occasionally merge to form a cutoff below 435 nm), also shows some combination of lines at 460, 480, 504, 520 and 573).

The GIA prefers the spelling "Malia," the actual Swahili word for "outcast" that created the trade name. Miners set it aside because it wasn''t the color they were supposed to be mining. The American gem trade press anglicized it to "Malaya" back in the late 1970s when promoters introduced it in the U.S. That''s confusing because Malaya is a country in southeast Asia and I’ve actually heard dealers tell customers that’s where it’s mined. The promoters also took full advantage of the fact that "Malia" also can mean "prostitute" in the local slang, which apparently had a marketing appeal I never quite understood. That''s how it got the nick "Lady of the Evening."

So, kcoursolle, is it a Malaia/Malaya? I surely can’t say but I think it’s a very pretty stone, judging from your image, with what appears to be an excellent cut. I hope you wear it with pleasure!
 

PrecisionGem

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Richard, what I do know is that the Nigerians sell this garnet rough for $.25/ct. The Malaya that comes from Kenya and Tanzania, sell in the rough from $30 to $60/ct rough. Do you think the Nigerians are just offering a great deal on Malaya rough? If you''re interested, I''ll send you a piece for nothing and maybe you can identify it for us. I don''t think I will ever get to cutting it.
 

kcoursolle

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Richard, thank you for the interesting history. I will cherish this stone even more now. For an outcast stone, it sure is pretty. I can''t imagine just shoving it to the side and not giving it much thought. How funny that it is also the name of prostitute, that''s great!!! I suppose with a rich dark red color like that is looks like a pretty seductive stone heehee. Red is my favorite color, so whatever this stone is I love it! I''m attaching a picture of this stone in the rough if you are interested in what it looked like before. It was great fun seeing the images before and after it was cut.

Rough2.jpg
 

Richard M.

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Date: 5/1/2006 4:22:29 PM
Author: PrecisionGem
Richard, what I do know is that the Nigerians sell this garnet rough for $.25/ct. The Malaya that comes from Kenya and Tanzania, sell in the rough from $30 to $60/ct rough. Do you think the Nigerians are just offering a great deal on Malaya rough? If you''re interested, I''ll send you a piece for nothing and maybe you can identify it for us. I don''t think I will ever get to cutting it.

Gene, I''ve spent several hours since this thread started working with various African garnets, taking R.I.s and noting spectral signatures just to refresh my thinking. I just bought a nice piece of Tanzanian "Malaya" at a hefty price and tested it.

It shows the same iron almandine signature as inexpensive material of nearly the same orangy/pink color I bought as "Angolan Garnet" several years ago. It''s hard to locate any manganese lines in the blue with a hand spectroscope but they''re probably there. When I get facets polished on both I''ll check again, with R.I., and try to decide what they really are. If the Angola material turns out to be what they''re selling as expensive "Malaya" these days I''ll be in great shape! I have half a kilo of it.

I have no idea what your material is but will do my best to I.D. it or at least describe its properties. Polish a facet on whatever piece you send; I''ll leave a mailing address at your website. I''ll give it my best guess. I can''t think of a gem that''s mis-identified more often than garnet, simply because you practically need a chemical analysis to get it exactly right. I have a light pink cut stone of 2+ carats from Sri Lanka I thought was probably pyrope. Testing the spectrum today (I can''t find one) it appears to be a rare pink grossular.

Richard M.
 

movie zombie

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i love what i see in my monitor re that hunk of red garnet....whatever name you want to call it!

movie zombie
 

Richard M.

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Hi,

Your stone reminds me a lot of this piece which weighs nearly 60 carats. I purchased it as "Masai Malaia" a few years ago. The seller said Masai women in Tanzania pick it up while they''re herding cattle and sell it to the gem traders.

I purchased another piece of almost 100 carats at the same time. Both stones are too thin to cut single stones but will yield several whoppers between them. The material is extremely clean, virtually flawless.

Richard M.

MasaiMalaia1.jpg
 

movie zombie

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richard, when are you going to cut that lovely red rough?!

movie zombie
 

Richard M.

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Date: 5/2/2006 1:15:07 AM
Author: movie zombie
richard, when are you going to cut that lovely red rough?!


movie zombie

Hi MZ,

There''s an 8.67 ct. cushion in my Gallery. I have another 4.49 ct. oval that smolders like an ember! Both are nearly loupe clean and were cut from half of the 100-carat piece which is identical in color to the one posted.

Richard M.
 

kcoursolle

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Oh my god, the color on that 8.67ct is to die for...I just keep staring at it. That stone would make an pretty nice pendant to match my ring...now I''m just dreaming... The two rough stones do look similar except mine might be a bit darker looking, although it could be different lighting.
 
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