Rhodolite garnet, the origin of the name is from the greek word, “rhodon”, meaning rose, alluding to its colour. In the trade it can be called as rhodolite garnet, or simply just rhodolite. It can also called as raspberry garnet because of the pink/ purple undertones to the dominant red colour.
It is usually an intermediary variety between the Pyrope and Almandine series, usually containing more magnesium than iron in its chemical structure, thus leaning closer towards Pyrope. It is often regarded as a variety of Pyrope. It can be similar to Ruby, though Ruby is harder and usually lacks the violet hue. Spinel and Rubellite Tourmaline can also closely resemble Rhodolite. Amethyst is a more pure purple color, lacking the reddish color.
Use of Rhodolite
Rhodolite is used in all forms of jewelery, especially rings, earrings, and pendants. It is also polished into cabochons and beads for use in bracelets and necklaces, and may be tumbled into smooth irregular stones for jewelry.
It has an attractive color, and is often very clean being without any flaws and inclusions. Rhodolite Garnet is a crystal of inspiration and emotional healing. It encourages love, kindness and compassion, and promotes self-worth and spiritual growth. It is especially helpful in recovery of sexual abuse, guilt or shame. It aids in the treatment of heart and lung disorders, and enhances metabolism.
Garnet gemstones, including Rhodolite, are not enhanced, and their colors are always natural.
Taking care of rhodolite
However, take care when cleaning these gems. Although a rhodolite may have no eye-visible inclusions, smaller inclusions may burst due to extreme heat or ultrasound and fracture the gem. Avoid mechanical cleaning systems and stick to a soft brush, mild detergent, and warm water, instead. Warm soapy water is always safe for cleaning garnets. The ultrasonic cleaner is usually safe except for stones that have fractures. Steam cleaning is not recommended.
Even though rhodolite is very rare, it is quite an affordable gemstone and can be found to suit most budgets. Thus rhodolite makes great options for engagement rings as well as January birthstone jewelry.