Roshoite are pure vivid purple gemstones from Chimoio in Mozambique’s Manica Province. Only unearthed in 2015, Roshoite’s is one of the rarest Garnets whose unique hue is a truly unique discovery.
Exceptionally rare and undeniably beautiful, Roshoite is a new gemstone and a rare color variety of Rhodolite. The beautiful intrigue of this new discovery is its color, a component that represents 50 percent of a gemstone’s value. Pure vivid purples are the unicorn of Rhodolite and this hue is not normally seen in this grape and raspberry pink, red, purple blended gemstone.
Good cutting accentuates the innate beauty of Roshoite and every gem is finished eye-clean, the highest quality clarity grade for colored gemstones, with an attractive shape and overall appearance.
Used in adornment for over 5,000 years, Garnets were popular in ancient Egypt from around 3100 BC, being used as beads in necklaces as well as inlaid jewelry (gems set into a surface in a decorative pattern). Garnet’s many myths frequently portray it as a symbol of light, faith, truth, chivalry, loyalty and honesty.
In Judaism, a Garnet is said to have illuminated Noah’s Ark and Garnet (carbuncle) was also one of the gems in the ‘breastplate of judgment’ (Exodus 28:15-30), the impetus for birthstones in Western culture. Crusaders considered Garnet so symbolic of Christ’s sacrifice that they set them into their armor for protection. In Islam, Garnets illuminate the fourth heaven, while for Norsemen, they guide the way to Valhalla. A Grimm’s fairy-tale even tells of an old lady, who upon rescuing an injured bird was rewarded for her kindness with a Garnet that glowed, illuminating the night.
Roshoite’s name is aptly derived from the Portuguese (the main language in Mozambique, a former Portuguese colony) word for purple, ‘roxo’ (pronounced row-sho or rosh) and the Greek ‘lithos’ meaning stone. A variety of Garnet, Roshoite’s vivid purple hue comes from traces of iron and magnesium. January’s birthstone, Garnet’s name is derived from the Latin ‘granatus’ (from ‘granum’, which means ‘seed’) due to some Garnets’ resemblance to pomegranate seeds. Coming in blues, chocolates, greens, oranges, pinks, purples, reds and yellows, Garnets are a group of minerals possessing similar crystal structures, but varying in composition, giving each type different colors and properties.
Discovered in August 2015, Roshoite is from deposits near Chimoio (also spelt Shimoyo) in Mozambique’s Manica Province close to the country’s border with Zimbabwe. The name Chimoio comes from one of the sons of Ganda, ancient chief of the totemic Moyo clan. Roshoite’s pure vivid purples are a unique discovery, especially considering the area has unearthed Rhodolite’s more traditional hues since 2009.
Given its natural pedigree, beauty and rarity, we rank Roshoite similar to its highly valued cousins; mandarin Spessartite and forest green Tsavorite. Entirely natural, Roshoite is also one of the few gemstones that are not enhanced.
Despite its beauty, production is currently very limited, especially in calibrated sizes for jewelry collections.
Durability & Care
Roshoite (Mohs’ Hardness: 7 – 7.5) is an excellent choice for everyday jewelry. Roshoite should always be stored carefully to avoid scuffs and scratches. Clean with gentle soap and lukewarm water, scrubbing behind the gem with a very soft toothbrush as necessary. After cleaning, pat dry with a soft towel or chamois cloth.