Uvarovite Garnet – Your Complete Guide
History and Information
Uvarovite garnet was first discovered in 1832 by Swiss born, Russian emigrant chemist and physician, Germain Henri Hess who christened the mineral in honour of Russian scholar and statesman, Count Sergei Semenovitch Uvarov. It’s the least common of all the garnet types and the only kind to exclusively possess a rich green colour, which is why uvarovite jewellery is often mistaken for Emerald or another type of garnet that is also available in green, tsavorite. Gem quality uvarovite is particularly hard to come by. It’s composed of minute, homogenously structured crystalline forms of calcium chromium silicate.
With its mesmerising colour and striking aesthetics, the mineral is regarded by some as a symbol of success and prosperity. The stone is also believed to fortify the human body’s major organs and protect against certain allergies and diseases, while promoting a greater sense of self-confidence. The stone invokes feelings of serenity and relaxation, enabling wearers to experience a wondrous sense of silence and seclusion, without feeling isolated.
Owing to its magnificent green colour, the stone is also seen as a symbol of growth and evolution. Despite its relative scarcity, it is sometimes referred to as the stone of abundance, in reference to the abundance of joy, harmony and love that it provides. As a talisman, it’s thought to safeguard homes from malevolent forces, ensure safe travels during a journey and help wearers to enhance their concentration, allowing them to improve their quality of life.
Facts About Uvarovite Garnet
- Colour ranges from emerald to dark green
- Hardness of 6.5-7.5 on the Mohs scale (making it suitable for engagement rings, but extra care must be taken)
- Birthstone for January
- Found in metamorphic formations, where Calcium and Chromium are present
- Crystals are typically dark (opaque), with only the corner regions of greater sized specimens suitable for faceting
- Faceted uvarovite exceeding 1 carat are very rare
- Finely polished cabochons used as pendants are the most commonly found instances of uvarovite in jewellery
- Is one of the 6 groups of garnet (each group is further divided into subcategories)
Where Is Uvarovite Located?
In the past, the most abundant source of substantial specimens was located in a Finland copper mine, but this is no longer in operation. Despite this, the mineral can still be found in the vicinity of the old mine and in other countries right throughout the world, including the United States, Cuba, Norway, Span, Russia, South Africa, Japan and Australia.
Uvarovite has been manufactured in lab conditions for the purpose of garnet research for some time, with chemists also creating uvarovite crystals using the flux process. Outside of research purposes, the artificial variants have no other practical use.
Characteristics That Differentiate Green Garnet Types
While uvarovite is the only garnet that is exclusively green, other garnet types exist that are also green in colour, including tsavorite and demantoid. In order to accurately identify them, the specific gravity value of the stone is determined. The value ranges for each specific garnet type vary slightly.
How to care for Uvarovite Jewellery
Like all garnets, uvarovite is susceptible to heat damage, so be sure to only clean (faceted variants) with tepid water, a mild detergent and a gentle brush. With the much more common druzy specimens (uvarovite that is presented as a flat matrix), they must be meticulously cleaned using a canister of clean, compressed air and delicate brush. Extra caution must be taken when brushing the surface as individual crystals can become separated and fall off. If you need additional advice on looking after your peridot jewellery, consult your local jeweller.
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