This unusual malaia garnet is hard to describe–the color shifts so much that it never seems to be one color–it’s a chameleon. In sunlight or diffused sunlight, the garnet is a reddish color with hints of brown–like a fine sherry. Under other lighting, such as fluorescent lighting, it can appear golden or champagne colored. Diffuse sunlight or sunlight and some incandescent light enhances the red/pink tones as this garnet has a very high chromium content and fluoresces a bright red color in UV light.
The gem has some natural inclusions of very fine rutile needles, which is typical for this type of garnet. None of the inclusions are easily visible in the hand and take close inspection to see–these macro photos make them appear for more prominent than they are in the hand. At just the right angle, you can see tiny sparkles of light from the rutile needles, and under a loupe they are beautiful little spikes of purple-red and silver. It also has great dispersion, and in sunlight the gem shows flashes of pale gold, blue and red on the reddish-brown body color. I faceted it in a custom diamond or navette shape that highlights the brilliance of the stone. The gem weighs 2.48 carats, and measures 10.46 x 8.90 x 5.38 mm.