Malaya (Malaia) and Color Change Garnet

Malaia garnet or Malaya garnet is a gemological varietal name for light to dark pinkish orange, reddish orange, or yellowish orange garnet, that are a mixture of pyrope and spessartite. It is found in east Africa, in the Umba Valley bordering Tanzania and Kenya. Malaia was at first believed to be a type of spessartite garnet. During the 1970's rough malaia garnets were being mixed with parcels of Rhodolite garnet being offered for sale. These odd color stones were rejected, and the name given to this type of garnet was Malaia, which is a Swahili word meaning outcast. It came into usage for a number of garnets that did not fit into any of the standard categories. Most imperial malaia garnets have microscopic needle-like inclusions that do not detract from the overall beauty of this material. Some of them exhibit a color-shift effect from flourescent to incandescent light. Color change garnets are mostly pyrope and spessartite in composition. Except for the color change, they are identical in properties to the Malaia variety. Their primary source is Africa.

NOTE: Stones on this page were photographed under 5000 Kelvin "daylight" lighting. For maximum color accuracy, descriptions were made in north-facing natural daylight, indoors, between 11am-2pm, at 32.89°N latitude.
COLOR: Wherever possible, a similar Pantone Color Card number has been used, NOT the Pantone colors online, which necessarily use RGB approximations, are grayer, and not at all the same. Since color is so subjective to lighting conditions, and daylight is in turn subjective to location, descriptions and pictures are intended to give a general idea of actual color. To know what these stones really look like, there is no substitute for seeing them in person.