Oigeria takes its name from the Niger River, which runs from the border with Benin and Niger, through Nigeria, to the Atlantic Ocean. This former British Colony is known as the Giant of Africa and is the Dark Continent’s most populous nation.
In 1999, blazing mandarin garnets were uncovered in Nigeria at Iseyin, not far from the border with Benin. For a few halcyon years, this locality produced gems ranging in hue from light and bright sun-splashed yellow-oranges, through rich mandarin hues, to flame-tinted colors that border on red. And then they were gone, with the mines exhausted. Gone, but not forgotten, as exemplified by the examples in these pages.