Definition of melanite in US English:

melanite

noun

  • A velvet-black variety of andradite (garnet).

    • ‘At first glance these would appear to be melanite but the closeup shows a bright red translucence at the crystal edges and fracture planes.’
    • ‘These days this melanite is mined for its beauty as sparkly black inlay material for jewelry, and its raw beauty as a mineral specimen.’
    • ‘A dark brown melanite garnet is restricted in occurrence to nepheline-bearing sövite and ijolite.’
    • ‘The variety melanite was once used in mourning jewelry, but does not have any gem use nowadays.’
    • ‘Would you like us to inform you when we add more natural melanite garnet jewelry items in 14k white and and 14k yellow gold on this page?’

Origin

Early 19th century: from Greek melas, melan- ‘black’ + -ite.

Pronunciation

melanite

/ˈmɛləˌnaɪt//ˈmeləˌnīt/