3.9" Andradite Garnet Cluster with Hedenbergite - Inner Mongolia

This 3.9" wide specimen contains attractive, black andradite garnets (Melanite) and a small amount of hedenbergite along one edge. It was collected from Chifeng City in Inner Mongolia, China. Tiny apophyllite crystals can also be found scattered along what could be considered the underside of this specimen.

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. It tends to be opaque, so most andradite is not gemstone-quality. It occurs in skarns developed in contact-metamorphosed impure limestones or calcic igneous rocks; in chlorite schists and serpentinites; and in alkalic igneous rocks, often titaniferous.

Andradite comes in three varieties: melanite, colored by titanium substitutions for iron in its formula; topazolite, a rare and yellow-green variety; and demantoid, a striking green variety that is one of the world's rarest and most valuable gemstones.

Garnets are nesosilicates with the general formula X3Y2(SiO4)3. There are many species of garnet, including 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, though reddish shades are the most common.

Andradite var Melanite, Apophyllite & Hedenbergite
Hexigten Banner, Chifeng City, Inner Mongolia, China
3.9 x 2.2"