like getting several gems for the price of one!
Most Garnets do not have the special property of fluorescence, i.e. having a magical neon glow when exposed to long wave UV light!
Fluorescence is the ability of a material to emit visible light when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light. In fact fluorescence is a field test sometimes used to separate Spinels from Garnets.
For a long time, Garnets were thought to be non-fluorescent, except for a few rare exceptions. Mint Grossular Garnets from East Africa usually show a weak pink to orange fluorescence under UV light. This is attributed to the presence of the trace elements chromium and vanadium.
Over the years we would come across the rare Color Change or Malaya Garnet that would display fluorescence, but these were mostly a curiosity.
Then East Africa surprised the gem world once again! In the 2020’s, a small number of Color Change and Malaya Garnets were found to fluoresce under UV light, from different sources in East Africa.
These rare Garnets were found to have a complex composition of Pyrope-Spessartite-Grossularite-Almandine, again with the trace elements Chromium and Vanadium.
The most remarkable feature of these rare Garnets is their intense neon pinkish-red to red glow under UV light, which contrasts with their natural color in daylight or incandescent light. In general, the stronger the glow, the more valuable they are.
They were nicknamed ‘Dragon’ Garnets by dealers and collectors (with the help of social media!) because they resembled the fiery eyes of mythical dragons.
‘Dragon’ Garnets are very rare and mostly found in small sizes, under 1 carat. Larger stones are difficult to come across.
We separate our fluorescent stones in 2 ways – those with Color Change (or a significant amount of Color Shift), and those with a Malaya type color.
Those with Color Change/Shift are usually so light-sensitive that they display different colors in each different lighting condition, followed by a neon pink, pinkish-red or red glow under UV light. It’s like getting multiple gems for the price of one!
Those with a Malaya type color are usually a peachy-pink color in daylight (sometimes with Color Shift properties too), followed by a neon pink, pinkish-red or red glow under UV light. Again, it is like getting multiple gems for the price of one!
Small inclusions that are eye-visible don’t significantly affect the price when it comes to phenomenal gemstones like these – the beauty and strength of the fluorescence/change is far more important.
Garnet is the birthstone for January, celebrates the 2nd Anniversary and comes in almost all colors of the spectrum including this rare fluorescent material.
Lots of choice for January birthdays!
We have more shapes and sizes available in Color Change ‘Dragon’ Garnet and Malaya ‘Dragon’ Garnet – please contact us if you don’t find what you are looking for in our online inventory.
More information about these fluorescent Garnets can be found at GIA’s website:
Here is a link to GIA’s Buyer’s Guide to Garnets:
Under fluorescent light/daylight:
Under incandescent light:
Under UV light:
with trace elements Chromium and Vanadium
RI = approx 1.74 (varies) SR
SG = 3.81 (varies)
Dispersion = 0.024+ (varies)
Suitable for use in jewelry
100% Natural garnet which is not normally treated in any way
See policy on Treatment Disclosure
Available in limited quantities only
Stones with the strongest glow under UV light are the most highly prized (UV 365-395nm; strong/intense 365nm usually works best)
The best way to see the fluorescent glow is against a dark background, ideally in a darkened setting (without much ambient light)
Note: some LED ‘UV’ lights will not show the fluorescent glow well as they don’t have the correct UV wavelengths or aren’t intense enough
All standard cuts and free sizes
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