One of the rarest of all Garnets, Malaia Garnet is normally pale orange to pinkish orange in colour. The gem was given its separate name in 1979 when it was identified as a blend between Pyrope and Spessartite Garnet. Prior to this, the gem was thought to be a slightly off-shade of Rhodolite Garnet. Once its different composition had been identified, it was given its name from the Swahili word meaning “outcast”.
When you study this gem it almost looks dichroic (two different colours are seen from different angles). However, this cannot be the case as the Garnet family does not feature this characteristic; it is actually due to the fact that it reacts to different light sources (wavelengths) in different ways. This beautiful gem has only currently been discovered in the Umba Valley, which borders Tanzania and Kenya.