A broad (FWHM ≈ 7300 cm−1) intense band at ~21 700 cm−1 in the optical absorption spectra of natural Fe2+, Fe3+-rich garnets is attributed to electronic intervalence charge-transfer transitions (IVCT), VIIIFe2+ + VIFe3+VIIIFe3+ + VIFe2+. In Fe3+, Fe2+-bearing garnets of predominantly almandine compositions, this band causes yellowish tinges in addition to the pink color, typical of pure Fe3+-free almandines. In garnets from deeper-seated mafic granulites from kimberlite pipes in Siberia with high skiagite (Fe32+ Fe23+ Si3O12) contents, IVCT causes intense brownish-yellow colors. The relatively high energy of the band (~21 700 cm−1) compared to diverse minerals showing IVCT between Fe2+ and Fe3+ in adjacent octahedral sites, is attributed to the charge-transfer transition taking place between Fe2+ and Fe3+ in non-equivalent, dodecahedral and octahedral sites of the garnet structure. Band intensity is directly correlated with the product of Fe2+ and Fe3+ as measured by Mössbauer spectroscopy. The energy of the IVCT band is nearly independent of temperature, whereas its intensity decreases slightly with increasing temperature. Pressure induces a weak shift of the band to lower energies, Δν/ΔP ≈–75 cm−1/GPa, but intensity of the bands remains practically unchanged. Such temperature and pressure dependencies are quite different from those in other minerals showing IVCT between Fe2+ and Fe3+ in equivalent octahedral positions of structure.

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