The base of this smoky quartz crystal is covered by crystals of orange spessartine. Spessartine belongs to the garnet group and ranges in colour from orange and brown to deep red. It forms a chemical series with almandine, the most common member of the garnet group. Like almandine, spessartine can be faceted and used as a gemstone.

Spessartine was named by the French mineralogist François Sulpice Beudant (1787-1850) in 1832 after the Spessart Mountains of Bavaria from where the specimens he described were collected. Previously, spessartine from this locality had been known as "granatförmiges Braunsteinerz" (garnet-shaped manganese ore), a name given by the German chemist Martin Klaproth (1743-1817) in 1797.

Spessartine is known from sites around the world. This specimen was collected from Tongbei in Zhangzhou Prefecture in the south-east of China. The dense encrustations of smoky quartz by spessartine crystals are typical of this locality.

Spessartine is a manganese aluminium silicate. It is found in some special metamorphic rocks and some igneous rocks.

Specimen Details

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