Andradite var. Topazolite
Cerro De La Concordia, Piedra Parada, Tatatila Mun., Veracruz, Mexico
Small Cabinet, 8.1 x 5.3 x 5.1 cm

Here is a nice group of translucent, yellow-green Andradite crystals on a contrasting, Hematite-rich matrix from an unusual Mexican locality. These are not common, actually - it was from only one large find which was now some years ago (2016-17?), and the specimens largely dispersed. Good ones were few. This is a fine small cabinet piece from the find, and the larger crystals are from 0.5 to 1.5 cm across : they are a combination of trapezohedral and dodecahedral forms. Many of the larger crystals on this specimen are quite gemmy in places along the edges, while most of those found were simply opaque! They are very bright with good luster and are accompanied by granular aggregates of Andradite among the larger crystals and around the periphery. The color difference between the yellow-green garnet and the reddish brown Hematite-bearing matrix makes for an attractive piece. Many people casually call yellow-green andradite garnets by the word "topazolite" which is simply a term for a colored variety of andradite. According to the National gem Lab website ( "Topazolite is a yellow to golden yellow variety of Andradite Garnet which is a member of the Garnet Group of minerals that includes Almandine, Andradite, Grossular, Pyrope, Spessartine and Uvarovite. Other varieties of Andradite include Demantoid and Melanite. Demantoid is the green variety of Andradite which is colored by chromium. Melanite is a black variety of Andradite containing about 1-5% titanium oxide. Although Andradite Garnets are somewhat common worldwide, Topazolite is fairly rare."