Chemical Formula (Mg,Fe)3Al2Si3O12
Color Red, Purple
Hardness 7 – 7.5
Crystal System Isometric
Refractive Index 1.770 – 1.820
SG 3.9 – 4.3
Transparency Transparent to translucent
Double Refraction None
Luster Vitreous
Cleavage None. May exhibit parting.
Mineral Class Garnet (Pyrope)

Rhodolite has quickly grown into a standard jewelry gemstone. It has an attractive color, and is often very clean being without any flaws and inclusions. Rhodolite is generally a lighter in color then Pyrope and Almandine Garnets, and often comes in purplish tints not present in other red Garnets. The name Rhodolite is not a scientific term, and this form of Garnet is not recognized as an individual mineral species. Despite this, the term is used and accepted in the gemstone industry. In the trade it can be called either Rhodolite Garnet, or simply just Rhodolite. The origin of the name is from the Greek word, “rhodon”, meaning rose, alluding to its color.


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.


Garnet gemstones, including Rhodolite, are not enhanced, and their colors are always natural.

Rhodolite SOURCES

Rhodolite sources include Tanzania, Mozambique, Sri Lanka, Brazil, and the U.S. (North Carolina).


Rhodolite is usually a lighter tint then the similar Almandine and Pyrope Garnets. 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.

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