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Loose faceted Malaia garnet gemstones in the finer qualities have been a staple on the AfricaGems.com website. Malaia garnets are members of the garnet family, birthstone for January, and are a bit unusual for a garnet. Malaia garnet is a combination, or hybrid of a spessartite garnet and a pyrope garnet. The proportion of each type of these garnets determines the color. It was discovered by accident by gemstone miners in the Umba Valley of northern Tanzania. Because the gem miners were looking for rhodolite garnet, they named these unusual looking garnets