2.99 ct Spessartite Garnet #1219034

Currently located in: Trade Show

Color: Reddish Orange
Dimensions: 11.70 x 8.70 x 4.80 mm
Weight: 2.99 carats
Origin: Nigeria
Shape: Kite
Cut: Step
Treatment: None
Stone Count: 1


Level 3 - Trusted Dealer

We purchased this gemstone from a gem dealer, with whom we have developed a business relationship for years. The dealer functions as a middleman between the mining cooperative or a local broker and us. As far as we know, the gem has traveled from the mine to a larger nearby city where our contact purchased it before bringing it to show our buyers. Based on our information and source, we are confident in the country of origin but are unable to validate the exact mining location.

Learn more about our 4 unique levels of provenance

Country of Origin: Nigeria
Mining Location: Iseyin Area, Oyo State

In early 1999, local villagers found unusual bright orange pebbles in the farmland close to the town of Iseyin, in the Southwestern Nigerian state of Oyo.

The unknown stones were taken to Ibadan, the capital of Oyo, where several gem merchants and brokers specializing in tourmalines from the Oyo pegmatites are based. As no one had heard of spessartite garnet in the region, they could not identify the stones and they did not know if they had any value. Eventually, some brokers took the stones with them to Idar-Oberstein in Germany, where the rough was correctly identified as the rare and valuable orange spessartite garnet in April 1999. News quickly travelled back to Iseyin, starting an intense mining effort. By the early 2000s, Nigeria had become the main source of gem-quality spessartite garnets.

Iseyin is an alluvial deposit and mining is done with hand tools at a shallow depth of about 1 meter in sandy ground. The gem-bearing gravel is collected, washed, and the garnets picked out. The majority of the rough has the tumbled alluvial appearance. Colors range from a yellowish-orange, reddish-orange, brownish-orange to pure mandarin orange.

Large quantities of rough were extracted during the first few years, but that amount soon dwindled. Nowadays mining activity is very reduced with only a few miners reworking the old grounds.

The majority of the Iseyin material is cabochon quality although a fair number of clean pieces have also been found. Among these are a few exceptional pieces of unprecedented size, color and clarity.