Color Change Garnet

Color Change Garnet

Garnet is one of a few gemstones that can exhibit a  color change. A color change gem is a stone that  changes from one color to another color depending  upon the light source. As a general rule, the  Madagascar material goes from a raspberry red to a bluish grey.  The Tanzanian material goes from a  raspberry red to a teal blue color.  The red color  side of these garnets is typically the strongest,  and the  blue/green side is the weakest.  Until this  color change garnet was recently discovered in  Madagascar, there were never any blue garnets!
The color change occurs in garnet because of the atomic structure of the stone. The ultraviolet rays  in sunlight or fluorescent light excite the atoms in  a color change, but artificial (incandescent) light  does not. As a general rule when evaluating color  change gemstones, the more dramatic the color  change, the more desirable the material. You do not  want to use your imagination to see the color  change. Ideally, you are looking for a 100% color  change with two pleasing colors. In reality, you  often get a lower percentage color change.  You do  not want a stone that obviously “bleeds”, which  means you can see the two colors at the same time  under a single light source.

The more vivid the colors of a  color change, the more valuable the gemstone.  Ideally, you want a dramatic color change with a  medium tone and intense color. As a general guideline with African  color changes, you either get a moderate color  change with a light tone or a strong color change  with a dark tone.  However, you must be aware these  color changes with dark tones can often black out. 

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