2.4" Black Andradite (Melanite) Garnet Cluster - Morocco

This is a beautiful andradite garnet cluster of the melanite variety. This melanite cluster was collected near Imilchil, Morocco. Small aggregations of what look to be pyrite can be found through the specimen, though the crystals also resemble marcasite and chalcopyrite.

Andradite is a species of the garnet group, and although not as well known as some other types of garnets such as almandine or pyrope, it is the most lustrous. There are three varieties of andradite which include melanite (black garnets), topazolite (yellow garnets) and demantoid (green garnets). It occurs in skarns developed in contact metamorphosed impure limestones or calcic igneous rocks; in chlorite schists, serpentinites and in alkalic igneous rocks (typically titaniferous).

Garnets are nesosilicates having the general formula X3Y2(SiO4)3. There are many species of garnet which include pyrope, almandine, spessartine, uvarovite, andradite and grossular (varieties of which are hessonite, cinnamon-stone and tsavorite). Garnets are found in a wide variety of colors including red, orange, yellow, green, purple, brown, blue, black, pink, and colorless, with reddish shades being the most common.

The mineral pyrite or iron pyrite is commonly referred to as Fool's Gold because its metallic luster and pale brass-yellow hue give it a superficial resemblance to gold. In the old mining days, pyrite was sometimes mistaken for gold. Pyrite is the most common of the sulfide minerals with the chemical formula FeS2. Pyrite crystals occur in many shapes and habits, including cubes of all sizes, penetration twin cubes, pyritohedral clusters and as small druzy crystals that can exhibit a beautiful glistening effect.
Garnet var. Andradite var. Melanite
Imilchil, Morocco
2.4" wide