Gem-quality spessartite (also known as spessartine) is uncommon. It is bright orange when pure, but an increase in the iron content makes the stone darker orange to red. Inclusions are lace – or feather-like.
Spessartite occurs in granitic pegmatites and alluvial deposits. It is found in Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Brazil, Sweden, Australia, Burma, and the USA; also Germany and Italy, but crystals there are too small to facet.
Spessartine is named after Spessart district of Bavaria, Germany. It can be confused with hessonite garnet or yellow topaz, but on close examination of inclusions it is distinguishable.