The Imperial Malaia Garnet story is told in letters below from All That Glitters to GIA, as well as in the related article published by GIA.
First letter to GIA accompanying the Imperial Malaia gemstone for the G&G article. The term Imperial Malaia Garnet is first used here. View Letter
The Gems & Gemology GIA article showing the original
gemstone from All That Glitters can be viewed below:
A newer garnet is also seen being sold as Imperial Garnet,
and is similar in some ways to Imperial Malaia Garnet,
but different enough that I would call it simply Imperial
Malaia Garnet Type II - good stones of this Imperial
Garnet are not common, but less rare than the Imperial
Malaia Garnet described in the G&G article. The major
difference being a lower RI value (this might vary
slightly), the lack of strong anomalous refraction and the
material seems to come slightly cleaner and larger. The
material seems to be dichoic, a similar property to the
original Imperial Malaia Garnet find. In the letter below,
we describe what we have learned and also mention
Champagne Garnet, which is a beige or tan garnet without
similar properties to either Imperial Malaia Garnet or
Imperial Malaia Garnet Type II.
We have been the sole purchaser of this material. We have
had very few stones since 1997 or so, though we have
constantly attempted to obtain more from the source.
Note that the stones look dichroic (two distinct colors
displaying within the stone - the property is not very
evident in these photos). This dichroic property
is impossible because of the physical property of
garnets. There are some gemstones, however, that
"seem" to be dichroic - this is due to strong anomalous
refraction and this is one of the reasons why this find is
unique. Also note that there is a strong color shift from
typically a very pale orange, pink or beige/tan, to
intense pink, pinkish red, orange, reddish orange, peachy
orange, etc. Since light sources typically contain many
wavelenths and many rooms contain different light sources,
these stones will typically show many different colors at
the same time. Truly, a unique gemstone rarity. We know of
no other companies currently selling this material.
|Color Comparison of same stone-different lights|
| Note the color shift of
the 1.93ct Oval Imperial Malaia Garnet. The
picture on the right shows more of the
pseudo-dichroism. Depending on the light, the
stone maybe more orange, peach or red; perhaps all
colors at the same time too! (SOLD!)
|In certain lights, this looks light it "could" be Imperial Malaia" - but it's not....|
|Though this has the orange component and a slight dichroic look, this is NOT Imperial Malaia Garnet due to a number of missing physical properties. The color is reminiscent of Imperial Malaia - note that the actual stone in person appears more peach, but does pick up the reddish overtones as does the Imperial Malalia pictured above when photographed under the same lights and with the same camera. (SOLD!)|
1.56ct Elongated Cushion Imperial Malaia Garnet
|This rare and seldom seen material was brought to the trade's attention by L. Allen Brown of All That Glitters in 1996. All That Glitters has been the sole seller of this material - we do not know of any others who have this rare gemstone. Unfortunately, this is so rare that only a few gems are produced. Currently, due to the rarity, it it not worth the time and effort to mine this material - sapphires have commanded more attention vs. finding a rarity after toiling for perhaps months... (SOLD!)|
Once again, this material is no longer available. We hope
to have a few pieces sporadically. Do not expect anything new as miners are
mining sapphires and don't have an interest in garnets,
regardless of how rare they are. The miners find it
more profitable to mine sapphires than to look for a rare
garnet for months and never find anything! If you are
interested in this material, please feel free to send us
an email to have your name added to the list of those
currently waiting. Prices for stones of slightly larger or
smaller than 1 carat are running approximately $250-350
per carat, which for the money, is a steal since other
garnets such as regular Malaia, Spessartites, etc. are
frequently priced higher! These gemstones are far more
rare than Alexandrite.......
We have seen a number of companies selling Garnets as Imperial Malaia. They would fall into another category of perhaps Champagne or Malaia, but not the Imperial Malaia category/group. It is most likely a designation for a higher asking price. The Garnet Group is very diverse and many tests have to be performed in order to find out what group a Garnet may belong to. Some of these tests, especially where elemental percentages are examined, have to be performed in a laboratory environment with instruments costing millions of dollars. This is frequently by-passed due to cost and items may be identified by sight. For the Garnet Group, this may not be sufficient to determine which group a Garnet falls into, and that might also be sufficient depending on one's goal.
We do occasionally have similarly colored garnets and they may exhibit a color shift similar to the Imperial Malaia.
Depending on the color, we will call them Imperial or Champagne Garnets and they are beautiful in their own right.
Larger gems are not common. You can check our inventory for Imperial/Champagne Garnets on the following photo pages:
Color Change Garnets
To see if we have any Imperial Malaia Garnet currently in
inventory, please check our Imperial Malaia Garnet Photo
Page: Imperial Malaia Garnet Inventory
Note - The photo page is similar to this page; if there is Imperial Malaia in inventory, additional photos will appear and there will be no "Sold" indication. If you have an interest in Imperial Malaia, you can send an email to be placed on a wait list; will most likely encounter a garnet of similar color that we would term Imperial Garnet or Imperial Color.