What is Malaya Garnet

    In this article we shall look at one among the gemstones that is found in group of garnet which is known as “Malaya Garnet”. Let’s start by looking at the names that are mostly used in the market places.

    • Malaya Garnet
    • Malaia Garnet
    • Umbalite Garnet
    • Imperial Garne

    From the above there all these names have the same meaning. Probably you have seen them in different places or countries that they use both four names. Take note here, in Europe “Malaya Garnet” they call it Umbalite Garnet. You don’t need to start wondering after hearing this name in this particular part of Europe or in different websites.

    Malaya garnet tanzania, history of  Color Change malaya garnet Phenomenon

    Its history

    Malaya garnet is a relatively new member of the garnet group. For the first time it appeared in the 1960s, mixed in with parcels of rhodolite garnets from the Umba River Valley of of Tanga region in Tanzania. But Malaya Garnet encountered with great opposition in the market because was an unfamiliar gem material.

    The word malaya actually comes from Swahili language, where it means "prostitute". Local miners gave it this name because when the gem was first discovered local dealers wouldn't buy it because it didn't fit any of the known garnet varieties and occuring in a variety of unique and interesting colors including pinkish-orange, reddish-orange and yellowish orange. For example, you can get the garnet from Umba deposits, some of them with the color brown or brown yellow or brown pink or brown purple. So Malalya Garnet is not like Rhodolite, Spessartite, Red garnet, Hessonite not even green garnet but it starts with the brown color mixed with other colours

    Gemological Report eventually proved Malaya garnet to be a chemical mixture of two garnets: pyrope and spessartite. Its color is from light to dark pinkish, reddish, or yellowish orange.

    Color Change Phenomenon

    Some of Malaya garnet can display color change phenomenon. For example in daylight or fluorescent light a Malaya garnet may appear blue green while under incandescent light it changes color to pink red. Other stones, like sapphire, spinel, and Alexandrite, can show color change. In fact Malaya garnet color change can easily be mistaken for alexandrite.




    The price and value of Malaya Garnet vary according to the size and quality of the gem. Color, clarity and the degree of color change are all important factors in valuing top grade Malaya Garnet. Malaya garnet is one of the more expensive garnets. It’s usually available in various fancy shapes. Along with the other garnets, it’s a US birthstone for January.

    Malaya garnet Sources




    Care and Cleaning

    Ultrasonic cleaning - Usually safe

    Steam cleaning - Never

    Warm, soapy water - safe


    • Almandite
    • Carnelian
    • Citrine
    • Sapphire
    • Spessartite garnet
    • Spinel
    • Topaz
    • Tourmaline

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