Extraordinary Gems You’ve Never Heard Of: Spessartite

Get to know this fun, fiery orange gemstone…


Spessartite—it’s a bright, bold cousin of the garnet, and you’ve probably never heard of it. Thanks to its citrusy orange hue, spessartite is sometimes called a mandarin garnet, but other variations have tinges of red and brown. Deposits of spessartite were first unearthed in a wooded Bavarian mountain range in the 1880s, and the gem’s name was subsequently derived from spessart (Bavarian for forest). The semi-precious stone was later found in Namibia, Mozambique, China, and parts of Southern California. The following are some of our favorite examples.