Feature Gems & Gemology, Summer 1996, Vol. 32, No. 2

Russian Demantoid, Czar of the Garnet Family

Demantoid, green andradite garnet, was discovered in the Central Ural Mountains of Russia in the mid-19th century. A favorite of the Czar's court, demantoid was another victim of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, when mining of this and other Russian gems was halted. Today, however, independent miners are recovering notable quantities of stream-worn demantoid pebbles from two major districts: Nizhniy Tagil, about 115 km north, and Sissertsk, about 75 km south, of Ekaterinburg. As a result, these distinctive bright "golden" green to dark green garnets are re-emerging in the gem market. Although cut stones continue to be small for the most part, a number of fine demantoids over 1 ct have been seen.