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Pyrope: description, properties and photo


We will pay attention to the information about pyrope garnet in this article. It’s about description and characteristics, properties, significance and historical background of its use in jewelry.

Pyrope variety is the most popular and famous among all red garnets. Due to the characteristic red color, the mineral was called “pyropos”, which translates from greek as “similar to fire”. It resembles a ruby, and in many sources there are mentions using this more valuable gem. This definitely hides the hidden desire to give one stone after another, very similar, but more significant. Indeed, in terms of color characteristics, the best pyropes, which have a bright scarlet color and excellent clarity, are similar to dark saturated rubies. But on this their similarity is limited. In chemical composition and physical properties, these are completely different minerals.


Pyrope is a gem with good luster and strength properties sufficient for every day wearing. Since the mineral is widely enough available on the market to find a really worthy sample, standing out from the crowd, you need to look at a lot of stones. How to choose a natural pyrope we tell here.

Pyrope is an aluminum garnet by chemical composition, belongs to pyralspites (we give a detailed classification of garnets by composition here) and is a magnesian member of the isomorphic series, that is, it contains aluminum and magnesium. The physical and chemical properties of pyrope are essentially advantages for a gemstone.

Let’s explain. Glass luster and good dispersion (0,022) provide a lively play of light on the edges of a faceted stone. The color palette includes bright, rich colors in red color palette, which makes the mineral attractive and, being set into the product, capable of creating delicate but precise accents in the image. Hardness is above 7 on the Mohs scale. This suggests that the stone is quite resistant to scratching and can be worn happily long time, but need also to protect it from falls.


Pyrope is quite common, but with regard to gem quality, only a few places in the world supply such stones to the market in significant quantities. These are the USA, Sri Lanka, Brazil and some African countries: Zambia, Tanzania, Nigeria.

Russia also has few mines of pyrope. Interestingly, pyrope is associated with kimberlite pipes, sources of diamonds. Sometimes they are accompanied by the extraction of pyrope. It should be noted that the origin does not affect the price, if this does not apply to collecting. Here we got to the famous Czech pyropes.

The stone deposit in the Czech Republic was actively developed in the last century. Czech pyrope are also “Bohemian garnets” – are still heard, despite the fact that there are no longer promising mines. Brooches, rings and pendants with a distinctive facet rose became collectibles and are proudly displayed by connoisseurs of gems.

Pyrope Crystal



pyrope, garnet group

Chemical formula:


Crystal Systems:


Mohs scale hardness:


Optical character:



very imperfect


3.65-3.87 g / cm3


Vitreous to subadamantine

Refractive index:

1.714 to 1.760






red, purplish red, dark orange red

Pyrope Crystal


Since this stone has been known to people for a long time, the history of the pyrope is rich and diverse in jewelry and religious objects.

In ancient Rome, pyrope served legionnaires. It was used for carving - making cameos and intalia. Thanks to the characteristic “fire” mineral, it received the name “carbuncle” - “coal”. In the last century pyrope became known in Europe thanks to the active development of deposits in the Czech Republic.

Today, pyropes have not lost their popularity. Almost all stones comes from the countries of Southeast Asia and Africa now.


Pyropes are not treated



unique large dark red pyrope stone

On the photo: a unique large dark red pyrope stone weighing 39.62 carats

On the photo: a set of three faceted red garnets

bright red stones with round and cushion shapes

On the photo: bright red stones with round and cushion shapes


On the video: a pair of oval cut pyropes

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