The Mineral uvarovite
Uvarovite is a rare member of the Garnet group that is consistently deep green in color. Its most widespread habit is as lustrous, tiny, emerald-green crystals densely coating a matrix. Uvarovite is the only true chromium Garnet; other forms of Garnet such as Andradite and Grossular may have a deep green color due to chromium impurities and can sometimes be mistakenly labeled as Uvarovite. Uvarovite was first discovered in 1832 by Germain Henri Hess, who named the new mineral after Count Sergei Semenovitch Uvarov (1765-1855), a Russian statesman and mineral collector.
Green to emerald-green
Most often in drusy groupings of dodecahedral crystals. Seldom in single crystals. Also in crusty and spiky aggregates of tiny crystals.
Uvarovite crystals are too small to be faceted into gemstones. However, plates of Uvarovite crystals are sometimes polished in cabochons and used as pendants.
Also see the gemstone section on Uvarovite and Garnet.
Uvarovite is also a rare mineral with a very interesting color, and is very well sought by mineral collectors.
Uvarovite is a rare mineral, and its occurrences are limited. The largest crystals of this mineral come from Outukumpu, Finland, where they come as individual crystals often embedded in a matrix. The most prolific Uvarovite and type locality is the Saranovskii Mine in Sarany, in the Ural Mountains of Russia, where it occurs as small emerald-green crystal grouping often covering a matrix. Small crystals are found in Val Malenco, Lombardy, Italy; and in the Kop Krom mine, Erzerum, Turkey. In the U.S., Uvarovite occurs in California in Jackson, Amador Co.; Jacksonville, Tuolumne Co.; and near Livermore, Alameda Co.
Distingushing Similar Minerals
Grossular - Usually in larger crystals, which are paler in color and are less lustrous.
Demantoid - Usually occurs in larger crystals, color not usually as deep emerald-green; otherwise very hard to distinguish.
Dioptase - Softer, occurs in different crystals and environments.
Torbernite and Zeunerite - Softer, occur in different crystals forms and environments.