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A review of Rare Umbalite Garnet by GemSelect

About Umbalite Garnet

Umbalite Garnet is a rare mixture of almandite-pyrope, with slight traces of spessartite garnet. Garnet derives its name from the Latin words ‘granum’, which means grain, or ‘granatus’ meaning pomegranate. Garnet is also the birthstone associated with the month of January.

Umbalite garnet is named after the Tanzanian valley of which it was found -- Umba Valley. It was first discovered in 1978 and the production of this variety has been very irregular since its discovery. Because of umbalite’s rarity, they are highly prized by gem collectors.

Umbalite Color
The primary difference between umbalite garnet and the closely related rhodolite is its unique color. Umbalite is a lighter, pinkish purple color as a result of spessartite traces. The most desirable umbalite are those that are saturated and well-balanced. The unique and differentiating color of umbalite is most noticeable in smaller specimens, this is especially true because all garnets tend to appear darker when found in larger sizes.

Umbalite Cut
Umbalite has excellent fire and dispersion, so they are most often found faceted, but cabochons are still very popularity found.  Round, oval and cushion cuts are most popular, but any cut that maximizes brilliance and minimizes color darkness is acceptable.

Umbalite Hardness
Umbalite, like all garnet, is very durable and resistant due to its excellent hardness (7.5 on Mohs scale).

Umbalite Treatment
Like most garnets, umbalite is typically un-enhanced and traded in its natural state.

Umbalite Garnet Metaphysical Beliefs and Alternative Healing
Garnets carry many beliefs and powers and have been used since the Bronze Age. Garnets are believed to relieve skin inflammation and regulate heart and blood flow. Garnet is known to heal, strengthen and protect those who wear it and it can also alleviate the symptoms of depression.
Caring For Your Umbalite Garnet
Garnet can be cleaned with warm water and a mild soap. It should only be wiped with a soft cloth or brush and properly rinsed well to ensure soapy residue is removed. Garnet can be cleaned with an ultrasonic cleaner (with exception to demantoid garnet), but caution should be while doing so. Garnet should not be steam cleaned and should not be exposed to harsh chemicals, such as hydrofluoric acid, which can cause erosion.  Extreme temperature changes can cause fracturing, so garnets should avoid any extreme heat.
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