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[Trivia] The garnet Melanite

Here’s another trivia question. The garnet Melanite (a member of the
Andradite species which also includes the sought-after and beautiful
green Demantoid) has historically been associated with a particular
human behavior. What is that behavior, and what color is Melanite?

Rick Martin –

Mourning. Black.

Hans Durstling
Moncton, Canada

Hi all,

Can’t resist trivia. Melanite is black and I’d assume the behavior
would be melancholy or depression.


Barbara W. Smigel, PhD.
Colored Stone Graduate, GIA
Artistic Colored Stones
850 S. Rancho Dr. #2387
Las Vegas, Nevada 89106
(702) 382-0694


I am not aware of any particular association between the garnet
Melanite and any particular human behaviour but, if I recall well, it
is an opaque, black variety of garnet found in the U.S., France, Italy
and Germany. Apparently, it is often imitated with black glass.

Can anybody take this further?


Don’t have a clue about behavior, but the color is black. Just set one
the other day and my behavior is fine!

Hi, Richard:

Melanite is a black variety of garnet formerly used for mourning
jewelry (as were jet and black tourmaline, I believe.)

Lee Einer, in warm and comfy Phoenix, where it has been an unusually
cool August (under 110 in the daytime.)

Hi Richard,

Since it’s ridiculously late and I’m still up (but don’t feel like
doing much else, at this hour), I’ll take a shot at your trivia
question {:o)! Let’s see, “Melanite”? I’ll guess that the term refers
to the brownish variation of Grandeite, the greenish-yellow to golden
brown Andradite-Grossular hybrid from Mali, and that it’s name, like
the word “melanization”, comes from the same root word that brings us
melanin… In other words, Rich, I’m guessing that this garnet is a
brownish color, and that – especially given your timing (just before
Labor Day weekend, here in the US) – it gets its name from that
human behavior known as sunbathing!

So… how’d I do?

Doug Turet