Causes of color change in malaia and color changing garnets on Apr 9 2009, at 08:55 in Colour change garnet
Malaia is name given to garnets orange to pinkish orange to red in color which do not match the color and gemological properties of any of the other more well known varieties of garnet. (Some authors spell it Malaya garnet
Indeed, the word malaia means prostitute or out of the family in Swahili. Primarily composed of spessartite
and pyrope, the color and gemological properties occur in a range which can overlap with grossularite, rhodolite
, and pyrope.
Some of them may change color under daylight and incandescent lighting and these stones are more commonly and collectively known as Color Change Garnets
. It is thought that the color change is due to the presence of vanadium or chromium in trace amounts. Our own observations indicate that color change could also be influenced by the needle like inclusions of rutile or actinolite which are common in the color changing stones but less apparent in the stones that don’t change color.