Umbalite is also known as Malaya (Malaia) garnet. Umbalite is a relatively new member of the garnet group. First noticed in the 1960s, it was mixed in with parcels of rhodolite garnets from the Umba River Valley in East Africa. Many buyers rejected the material, so local miners and dealers gave it the Swahili name of “Malaya”, which translates to “out of the family”. Testing eventually confirmed that this new gem was a mixture of pyrope and spessartite garnet. Its lively color ranges from light to dark pink, red, and yellowish orange. After overcoming initial objections, it carved a small, but dedicated niche in the market in the 1980s, particularly in the United States. Today, umbalite is one of the more expensive garnets, and its only known sources are Kenya and Tanzania.
- Optical Properties
- Characteristic Physical Properties
- Chemistry & Crystallography
Malaya (Malaia) garnet
Countries of Origin
Tanzania, United Republic Of; Unknown