Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Purple garnets?

justginger

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 11, 2009
Messages
3,712
One of the vendors I stumbled across has a very small inventory of purple garnets. :confused: I've never seen these before. I don't know what to think about them - they are pretty, but are they actually garnets?? Does anyone know anything about these gems? I quite like one of them, but am afraid that it'll be nothing more than amethyst...with no decent gemologist around here to inform me within the 7 day return period. :nono:
 

Lady_Disdain

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
3,988
Purple garnets do exist. Some are sold under the trade name of "royal rhodolite", if I remember correctly (but I still haven't had my morning caffeine, so grains of salt are recommended).

This, of course, does not guarantee that your stones are what they are supposed to be. Do you have any special reason to trust or distrust the vendor?
 

Michael_E

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 19, 2003
Messages
1,290
TriGem Designs which is a subsidiary of Columbia Gem House sells a stone to the trade only, which they call "Grape Garnet". They like to Copyright trade names for their different gems and have a picture and description of their Grape Garnet here: http://www.trigemdesigns.com/gemprofiles.html Since they only sell to the trade, you can most likely get one of these through any retail seller. I have never purchased from them and have no idea how accurate their example picture is. Hopefully this is not considered a pitch for them as my intent was merely to link to an appropriate image. :saint:
 

Richard M.

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Feb 17, 2004
Messages
1,104
Purplish color is a requirement for a garnet to be called Rhodolite, according to the GIA's definition. But there are many color variations of so-called "Rhodolite" used in Trade names because not every seller agrees with GIA. In the final analysis, it's every marketer for himself: Raspberry Rhodolite, Strawberry Rhodolite, Blueberry Rhodolite (lots of berries, huh?), Cherry Rhodolite, Brown Rhodolite, Orange Rhodolite, etc. I've seen all those names and many others used in advertising over the years because many color variations are possible with garnets.

Trigem's Grape Garnet is the trademarked name for very fine purplish almandine (often with a little reddish pyrope species) garnet from India. I'd have given my Royal Rhodolite the same name because it's the same material, but to do so might have earned me a visit from Trigem's lawyers.

Really fine gem-grade purple and purple-violet garnets are fairly rare and the Indian material is some of the world's best. It presents challenges in cutting and is expensive as garnet goes because each piece of rough is hand-selected and graded for color. Lately I've seen some 100% purple (no red component) light-toned almandine from Africa being offered but have no personal experience with it.

Richard M.
 

PrecisionGem

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 27, 2004
Messages
1,728
With these garnets, a lot of the color will have to do with the type of light you are viewing them. Most rhodolite type garnets change color to some extent, some more than others. Typically the color in daylight will go more towards the purple, and in incandescent light more red. The color change, or change color as the African's call them go very purple or even blue/purple in daylight, then shift or change more red in incandescent light. I have seen some that go teal to purple, and teal to green.
Photographing color change in garnets is difficult, and many times on a website they will take one picture, and then change the color using a program like Photoshop to show how the color will look in various lights. Often they owner of the stone will get a bit carried away with the color manipulation while doing this.
 

justginger

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 11, 2009
Messages
3,712
Thanks everyone for the insight. The vendor who has them has had both positive and negative reviews here, though the negatives seem to be more a result of 'pushy' personality more than actual misrepresented wares. I have no real reason not to trust them, except for my inability to have the gem looked at before the end of the traditional return period.

Now, royal rhodolite is exactly what it seems to be - not the 'grape' garnet. It is, from the one photo available, an absolutely pure purple, no signs of pink or red modification. It looks like someone soaked a big diamond in Welch's. :love:

Richard, you mentioned new stuff coming from Africa. This is listed as having been sourced from Mozambique. Do you know anyone who has had any experience with it? I'd like to know the sort of light/color interaction to expect - of the two gems I am interested in, one is very bright and one is much darker (like the tone of a top tanzanite). I am thinking this is more a result of photography and they would look very similar in real life, showing those two personalities based on different light sources.

I know it's asking a lot - but does anyone have any sort of pricing guidelines for gems like these?
 

Richard M.

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Feb 17, 2004
Messages
1,104
justginger|1313980976|2996245 said:
Richard, you mentioned new stuff coming from Africa. This is listed as having been sourced from Mozambique. Do you know anyone who has had any experience with it? I'd like to know the sort of light/color interaction to expect - of the two gems I am interested in, one is very bright and one is much darker (like the tone of a top tanzanite). I am thinking this is more a result of photography and they would look very similar in real life, showing those two personalities based on different light sources.

I know it's asking a lot - but does anyone have any sort of pricing guidelines for gems like these?
As I said, I have no personal experience with this Mozambique material. The images I've seen seem very nice but you need to view any gem with your own eyes to judge its true color and other qualities. There are many variables in gem photography: lighting, camera differences, not to mention differences in monitors, etc. On-line gem images should be considered just an indication of what a gem really looks like.

As for pricing, true light-toned purple is a rare hue. I wouldn't expect it to be cheap.

Richard M. (Rick Martin)
 

justginger

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 11, 2009
Messages
3,712
Here are a couple of screen shots that I took, so everyone can see what sort of purple I'm referring to. I think they're just beautiful, but can't seem to shake the feeling that they're overpriced (in comparison to the sort of royal rhodolite pricing I saw on Art Cut Gems (though possibly these are a bit more pure purple?). Just to give you an idea, they're asking nearly $900 for the first one pictured alone (just under 3 carats). :$$): But...I can't stop thinking about it! :errrr:

purplegarnet.jpg

purplegarnet2.jpg
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
It depends what you mean by overpriced.

If you mean 'it's a garnet and so should be cheaper' then that is a bit of a fallacy these days. If there is a very small supply of something and people want it then they can charge what someone will pay. A 3ct purple sapphire will cost a great deal more than $900 I would guess. Check out prices of top quality mandarine garnets if you want sticker shock! Or the prices for Paraiba Tourmaline - you can buy a cut tourmaline for a few dollars on eBay, but you can be looking at $10k/carat for a top paraiba - it's still what many would consider to be a 'lowly tourmaline' but enough people want one that the price is what it is.

I have one of Rick's 'Royal Rhodolites' and they are beautiful - and very purple especially in daylight!

I would be tempted to ask for extra photos of that one you are interested in - in different lights and on a hand. I have a colour-change garnet and the daylight colour photo was rather similar to the first photo you post (but more grey). If I get the light exactly right I can recreate the photo colour but in general viewing conditions it is completely different.
 

justginger

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 11, 2009
Messages
3,712
Yes, Pandora, I remember that you were one of the lucky recipients of RIck's royal rhodolites. I suppose that's the mental benchmark that I have for pricing with these stones, not that they are garnets (my birthstone, conveniently) - and it seems that the large ones pictured above are running at least twice as expensive as what Rick has listed. I did email Rick to let him know that I would be interested in something from him if/when it becomes available.

Extra pictures of this gem seem to be an impossibility - when I enquired, the vendor explained told me that set up and breakdown for photography took hours, and wasn't possible. Plus mentioned that due to camera interpretations and monitor differences, it was impossible to convey true colors anyway. :sick:

I think, being in Australia, I will have to write this off. The responses I have received from the vendor have not put me at ease with making a purchase - and with the potential costs of international shipping, import taxes, return shipping and insurance, I prefer a bit of extra service in the form of additional photos, etc.

Hopefully sometime comes up through Rick. :twirl:
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
I hope Rick finds the right stone for you. My RR is still one of my favourite stones in my collection along with the Mali I also bought from him.

The RR's are stones you never get bored of looking at - I like looking for the bright blue flashes! I have an EC but I would love to see a trilliant...
 

Barrett

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 26, 2009
Messages
2,218
ahhh..the all the glitters grape juice garnets...according to them the amount of these amethyst colored garnets is pretty scarce
www.atggems.com

garnet_719pt_elong-cush_purple.jpg
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,517
The grape-ish garnets from ATG are quite a sight to behold (if the colour holds true) and pricing does seem high, but vendors can charge whatever they feel is warranted. Being that you are in Australia with taxes and etc, I'm sorry it's not worth the hassle and cost to have it sent for your review.
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,699
I suspect (if it makes you feel any better) that the garnets you've linked to will be very dark in real life and will only show flashes of colour.

Like others I have a range of colour change garnets and some do go this gorgeous purple.

They used to say that garnets came in every colour but blue but then there was a find in Bekily of blue garnets so I guess they now come in all colours!
 

Mitch57

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
5
I purchased the first garnet in this thread. I took my own photos and videos of the gem. Neither my videos or my photos have been altered in any way other than cropping and scaling to cut out the unwanted background.

Please judge for yourself. Keep in mind that everyone's monitor is different. My monitor is calibrated so what I see may be different than what you see. However, on my monitor the gem looks just like the pictures and the video under the same lighting conditions when it is in the hand as it does in the videos and photos.

This video is best viewed in 1080p http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=af35gKIGDz0

Here's a few photos on different backgrounds. Feel free to chime in!

2.85 Ct Grape Garnet Cropped and Scaled_1.jpg

2.85 Ct Grape Garnet BB Cropped and Scaled_1.jpg

2.85 Ct Grape Garnet Cropped and Scaled.jpg
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,517
Mitch,
It's a lovely coloured and saturated garnet, but does it look this dark in person?
 

Mitch57

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
5
Chrono|1316779006|3023718 said:
Mitch,
It's a lovely coloured and saturated garnet, but does it look this dark in person?
Hi Chrono,
As I stated in my post, it looks pretty much like what you see here. It's color and saturation will depend on the lighting source. I used LED and florescent lighting to take my photos and videos.
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,699
It's a gorgeous stone with some lovely flashes of pink/blue/red but it's very dark - it's much darker than the seller's photo. Your video of it is very pretty and it performs very well. Some people like light gems, others prefer them darker - so this is a personal choice!
 

Mitch57

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
5
Yes, Definitely way more dark than the seller's photos. I'm not sure if he Photoshopped the photo or not.

One unique thing about this garnet is it's color. I haven't seen anything that quite matches it's intense purple color I have several but none look quite like this one.

Here's another one I have which is very nice, but as you can see the color is much different than the one I just purchased.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6GkJarQqT8
 

Mitch57

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
5
As you can see from my photos, the color does not match the vendor's photo. Nor does it look as bright in the hand either.
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    Style File: Julia Roberts
    Style File: Julia Roberts
    Top 5 Honeymoon Destinations
    Top 5 Honeymoon Destinations
    Tennis Bracelet Love
    Tennis Bracelet Love

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top