In 1991 the first mandarin garnets were discov- ered along the winding Kunene River on the border between Namibia and Angola in south- west Africa. It wasn’t long until the mines were depleted and though gemologists thought there was more to be found, the costs of mining forbade any further exploration in the area.Previous to their discovery in Namibia manda- rin garnets had been found in Sri Lanka, Upper Burma, Madagascar, Brazil, Australia, Kenya and Tanzania, and yet they were seldom used in jewelry, though gemstone lovers and collectors appreciated them. Jewelry designers ignored them because specimens with superior color and quality were seldom found. The fantastic crystals from Namibia, on the other hand, were of an unusually fine, intensely radiant orange.
Then in 1994 more mandarin garnets with brilliance comparable to the Namibian stones appeared in the marketplace. This time they came from Nigeria and only a true specialist could discern the differences. A sparkling rich reddish- orange, a matchless luminosity, an exceptional hardness, and great rarity makes the mandarin garnet a preferred stone for free spirited individu- als with a flare for style.