Pyrope from the Latin “pyropos”, meaning “fire”, is normally red in colour. Its tones usually vary from deep red to almost black, although when found in a violet-red shade it is better known as Rhodolite Garnet (taken from the Greek meaning for a rose).
In 1990, a Blue Garnet was discovered in Madagascar and this has been identified as a cross between a Pyrope and a Spessartine Garnet. This new find is important for two reasons: firstly, it is amongst the first Blue Garnets to be discovered (it used to be said that Garnets come in all colours except blue); and secondly because it is a colour change gemstone.
One Pyrope, found in Arizona, is not mined by humans, but is said to be brought to the Earth’s surface by ants! If you ever come across the term “ant hill Garnet”, you now know the origin.