Gem News International Gems & Gemology, Spring 2019, Vol. 55, No. 1

Color-Change Pink Pyrope Garnet Update

Color-change pyrope garnet cut by Victor Tuzlukov.
This 20.00 ct oval color-change pyrope garnet was cut by Victor Tuzlukov. Photo by Kevin Schumacher, courtesy of Jewels from the Woods.

Jewels from the Woods (Blanco, Texas) displayed color-change pink pyrope garnets (see above) at the AGTA show. Their color changes from purple in daylight-equivalent light to pink in incandescent light. This was the first time there had been such a large selection of the stones at AGTA, according to independent gem cutter Desmond Chan, who was assisting Jewels from the Woods. He said the material had been very well received.

Desmond Chan tells us about the color-change pink pyrope garnets.

The stone had been slow to come onto the market, Chan said, because not much rough was available, and the deposit—believed to be in Morogoro, Tanzania—has been depleted. The garnets are said to have been mined in 1988. Initially assumed to be rhodolite, they were put in a safe deposit box until 2014, when they were acquired by cutters Meg Berry, Todd Wacks, and Jason Doubrava. Wacks (Tucson Todd’s Gems, Tucson and Vista, California) was the first to detect the color change, and he introduced the garnets in 2015 at the Riverpark Inn (Pueblo) show (Spring 2015 GNI, pp. 88–89). GIA performed a gemological study of the material (Z. Sun et al., “Vanadium- and chromium-bearing pink pyrope garnet,” Winter 2015 G&G, pp. 348–369). One interesting finding was that two of the larger stones had the strongest color change.

Garnets have been “on fire” the last four or five years, according to Doubrava (Jason Doubrava Gems & Minerals, Poway, California). He said the public is more aware of garnets and more appreciative of their varied colors than in the past. “These just absolutely glow,” he said of the color-change pink pyrope garnets at the booth.

Jason Doubrava shares his experience with the garnets.

Erin Hogarth is a writer and editor in Learning Design and Development at GIA in Carlsbad, California.