Spessartite is the orange to red-brown variety of the Garnet group.
Its name is derived from occurrence in Spessart (=forest), Germany.
The Mohs’ hardness is 6,5 – 7,5.
The garnet group is made of many differently colored minerals with similar crystal structure and related chemical composition. The main representatives are Pyrope, Almandite and Spessartite, Grossularite , andradite and Uvarovite.
The name Garnet derives from Latin for grain because of the rounded crystals and similarity to the red kernals of the pomegranate.
Main deposits are found in Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Tanzania.
The best specimen come from Namibia so called “Mandarin Spessartite”, or the shorter trade term “Mandarin Garnet”.
Garnet is the birthstone of January.