Definition of melanite in US English:



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

    • ‘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?’
    • ‘A dark brown melanite garnet is restricted in occurrence to nepheline-bearing sövite and ijolite.’
    • ‘These days this melanite is mined for its beauty as sparkly black inlay material for jewelry, and its raw beauty as a mineral specimen.’
    • ‘At first glance these would appear to be melanite but the closeup shows a bright red translucence at the crystal edges and fracture planes.’
    • ‘The variety melanite was once used in mourning jewelry, but does not have any gem use nowadays.’


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