Demantoid was discovered in Russia in the early 19th century. In 1854, the noted mineralogist Nils Gustaf Nordenskiöld identified this gem as a variety of andradite garnet. These stones had such exceptional brilliance and dispersion or “fire” that they inspired Nordenskiöld to name demantoid after its “diamond-like” appearance.

In fact, this garnet has greater brilliance and a higher dispersion than its diamond namesake as well as other well-known green gemstones, such as emerald and peridot. Although dark body colors can mask their dispersion, small demantoids with light colors are quite dazzling.

Demantoid was a popular gemstone during the Belle Époque period (1890-1915), especially in Art Nouveau jewelry. The Russian Czars particularly favored this gem.