Demantoid Horsetail Inclusions
When Inclusions Enhance Gemstone Value
The gemstone world does not think very highly about inclusions in gems, this is the general rule. A gemstone that is clean is rewarded with a higher price tag. Demantoid which is a variety of andradite (from the garnet family) is an interesting gemstone. Certain inclusions in demantoid garnet are considered to be positive attributes of the gem. These inclusions are referred to as horsetail inclusions, and the naming of these inclusions is a smart move too. In this brief report, we will provide a good insight into horsetail inclusions in demantoid garnet. We will also talk about what these inclusions are composed of.
The initial mining location of demantoid gemstones was done in the Ural mountains of Russia. Inhospitable terrian and severe winters restricted the mining season which in turn pushed up the price of the stone. Russian demantoid garnets have a peculiar characteristics. Today other sources exist for demantoids Namibia and even Madagascar now produce commercially viable quantities of demantoid garnet. However demantoid gems from these origins do not show the much sought horsetail inclusions in the stone. We have seen some mention of these demantoid inclusions in material from Namibia but, the claim was never backed up by any authentic photographs or proof of origin documents. We can therefore presume that it is only Russian demantoid garnets that show these inclusions.
There was a time when scientists were not aware of the actual composition of the horsetail inclusions in demantoid gemstones. It is now known that two elements from the asbestos group namely byssolite and chrysotile are what constitute the horsetail inclusions in demantoid garnets. The bunch of fibres originate at one point and then branch out in a formation. The fibres are often curved at the end where they branch out and are therefore compared to the tail of a horse. The mere existence of horsetail inclusions in the demantoid rough do not ensure a valuable cut gem stone. Expert gem cutters know exactly how to orient and cut the rough to bring out the best effect from the inclusions. The best effect is achieved when the fibres seem to rush out from the center of the gemstone.
Gemologists use the existence of horsetails to confirm the origin of a piece of demantoid garnet. If you have a piece of demantoid garnet and check it for horsetail inclusions, you can be sure that it is from Russian mines if the inclusions are present. It is important to remember that these inclusions even if visible only with a maginifying loupe, confirm their Russian origin.
So should you insist on getting only Russian demantoid garnet. As of today, not much of demantoid is mined in Russia. Madagascar is fast becoming an important source for commercial supply of demantoid garnet. Russian demantoid garnets cost around 10 to 25 times more than demantoids from Madagascar. Considering that most demantoids are cut in sizes of 1 carat or less, the horsetail inclusions are not something that you can easily admire with the naked eye. You should keep these issues in mind before you insist on a specific origin for your demantoid garnet. Having said that, you should ofcourse get a genuine demantoid gem stone and sourcing it from a reputed gem and jewelry provider is the best option.
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Related Resources: Demantoid Garnets
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