Within a very short time, this beautiful gemstone had shot up into the firmament of the international jewellery scene like a rocket. As to the name, there had been a certain amount of wrangling among gemmologists and gemstone dealers. Some called the brilliant orange to orange-red beauties 'Kunene spessartines', after the place where they had been found, whilst others spoke of 'hollandines'. But fairly quickly, the illustrative name 'mandarin garnet' began to prevail in international trade. That was the name by which the fiery orange gemstone was known when it began its conquest of the world. It was a fitting name, and it is the one which has remained to this day. Fortunately, that unique find on the Kunene River was not the only one of its kind. In about April 1994, more orange spessartines appeared in the trade, this time from Nigeria. As far as their colour and their brilliance went they were very similar to the mandarin garnets from Namibia, even if the experienced specialist was able to discern some subtle differences. They were found right down in the south-west corner of Nigeria, not far from neighbouring Benin. The mine is in a river-bed in the bush. During the rainy season it is necessary to pump the water out of the pits. Garnet specialist Thomas Lind of Idar-Oberstein was thrilled by the attractiveness of the new find: "There are some beautiful, radiant orange mandarin garnets from Nigeria in the trade, and among them there are, again and again, stones in sizes of over 1 carat. I am glad to say that they enhance what is being offered in the trade, and that the supply of this gemstone, which was once so rare, has stabilised in the meantime." Now, mandarin garnets are once again available in reliable quantities, even if top-quality stones are extremely rare.

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