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All about Garnet - More than Januarys Birthstone

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All about Garnet - More than Januarys Birthstone

Garnet is the birthstone of January, and it deserves a month to itself because this group of gems is remarkable and massive. But, why learn so much about Garnet? Well, Garnet ought to be on your radar because some varieties are quickly becoming some of the rarest gemstones on earth! Garnet varieties also have exceptional qualities, and the gems are available at affordable prices, in many sizes, numerous colors, and shapes.

While many are quick to think of Garnet as a red stone, some kinds of Garnet are far from red, and within the group of Garnet, nearly every hue is present.

The fact is the Garnet group has over twelve different gem types, and while red is the most commonly occurring and popular form of Garnet it is far from the only hue one can obtain. What's more interesting is that Garnet is discovered and mined in nearly every continent of the earth and some of the varieties are nearly exhausted. You know what limited supplies mean for the gemstone industry right? It suggests these rare stones are due for a substantial price increase.

Garnets Colors and Forms

Garnet is available in abundance of colors yellow, orange, peach, green, red, purple, brown, color-change, and pink. The most common form of Garnet for jewelry is Pyrope Garnet, and the rarest forms are Color Change Garnet, Demantoid Garnet, and Tsavorite Garnet. Other obscure forms of Garnet are even more limited, but those are beyond the scope of this article.

We are going to talk about Garnet varieties that are easy to obtain and the qualities they have. One color you may notice that is missing from our image below is blue, but believe it or not, Garnet does come in blue hues. Blue garnet is so rare it is nearly impossible to see, but it does exist and Garnet, therefore, displays in every known color!

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Garnets Luster and Hardness

Garnet's luster is vitreous (glassy) and highly attractive. Some forms of Garnet like Demantoid Garnet, which happens to be green, have a dazzling diamond-like brilliance. Garnets are generally eye-clean stones meaning that they are free from inclusions. Many Garnet varieties have no inclusions; however, a few types do display minimal inclusions. Some orange garnet such as Spessartite and Hessonite will exhibit visible inclusions. Additionally, Russian Demantoid Garnet is sometimes distinguished for horsetail-like 'inclusions' while other deposits of Demantoid will have slight impurities like the Demantoid we have that's from Namibia.

Garnet on the Mohs scale of hardness is a 6.5-7.5 out of 10 making it very durable and quite robust. Garnet is suitable for numerous jewelry applications not only for its durability but also its availability in multiple colors, numerous shapes, and again its unbeatable value.

Interesting Garnet Facts

  • Garnet is the Birthstone for all who are born in January and the accepted stone for a second wedding anniversary.
  • Garnets are considered to be traveler's stones, and Noah's Ark is said to have a Garnet lantern to help navigate during the night.
  • A Garnet Cabochon set into a flower brooch from Jackie Onassis's estate sold for over $100,000 at auction.
  • Garnet is thought to promote successful businesses, encourage compassion and aid self-confidence.

Demantoid Garnet

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Demantoid Garnet is a brilliant green variety of Garnet. This variety is considered to be one of the rarest and most valuable members of the Garnet group. Demantoid Garnet has an exceptionally high refractive index making it more brilliant than Ruby and Sapphire. This gem type also has exceptional fire and also has a higher dispersion rating than diamond - this gem type usually comes in small sizes, so one-carat sizes are rare and two-carat sizes are incredibly rare

This gem may even be considered one of the rarest colored gems today! Initially discovered in the mountains of Russia this gem was considered extremely rare and valuable. In 1996 an additional deposit of Demantoid was found in Namibia, and another discovery happened in Madagascar. Smaller deposits are being found worldwide of the gem type, but this doesn't take away from the value or desirability of the gem. Check out the sparkling pieces of Demantoid Garnet we have now they are stunning.

GemSelect's Demantoid Garnet is available in Lots, Pairs, and as unique Single stones. The colors of pieces can range from lime green to green mixed with autumn tones to much deeper greens, and it also appears with some yellows. Many of the lighter stones have an incredible luster, and many of the gems we have now are very clean.

Tsavorite Garnet

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Tsavorite is an emerald green variety of grossular garnet, and its color compares to Emerald. This gorgeous gem's color is refreshing to the eyes, and it also has an excellent appearance when crafted into jewelry. But, Tsavorite Garnet isn't just a beautiful stone it is also a valuable form of garnet. When it comes to purchasing Tsavorite Garnet from an investor's perspective, GemSelect suggests buying eye-clean stones of substantial size with the incredible color that characterizes Tsavorite Garnet.

Tsavorite Garnets green ranges from bright yellowish green all the way to deeper forest greens with the most desirable colors being on the full-color part of the spectrum. Tsavorite Garnets rating on the Mohs scale of hardness is 6.5-7.5 out of 10, and it is easily cut and worked into jewelry making it an excellent stone to use in design. This stone is also very popular to use as an accent stone, and in pave and micro pave settings.

If you are in the market for a green stone with incredible durability, luster and affordability look no further. GemSelect guarantees you will be happy you decided to shop Tsavorite Garnet when you received your sparkling piece reminiscent of emerald and got it at an affordable price.

Malaya Garnet

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Malaya Garnet is another beautiful form of garnet. It is a hybrid garnet that's made up of Pyrope and Spessartine. The discovery of Malaya Garnet was somewhat recent, and its discovery occurred in the Umba River Valley which borders Tanzania and Kenya. The Umba River Valley is still the primary source of Malaya Garnet today.

This form of garnet has other positive attributes like its durability. On the Mohs scale of hardness, Malaya Garnet is between 7-7.5 out of 10. Malaya Garnet can occur in interesting colors including pinkish-orange, reddish-orange, yellowish-orange and all with have variance in their lightness and darkness. The redder or more unique the color determines the value of the stone in addition to the size of the gem.

GemSelect has a vast inventory of Malaya Garnet to choose from that includes lots, pairs, and unique single stones. At GemSelect we love gems with beautiful color and fantastic luster, so we highly recommend shopping Malaya Garnet because it has the full package. Gemstones that appear in vivid grapefruit colors are rare, and this one happens to be very affordable.

Color Change Garnet

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Color Change Garnet is an incredibly rare form of Garnet. If you read last month's news letter, you know that Garnet isn't the only stone with color-change ability. What makes Color Change Garnet Unique is the makeup of it. It is usually a hybrid mix of Spessartite and Pyrope Garnet, and it often contains traces of Grossularite or Almandine Garnet too. Sought after for its ability to change color dramatically usually from a brownish-green or bronze under natural light to a brilliant rose or pink color under incandescent light Color Change Garnet has qualities beyond its unusual qualities.

In this variety there are limitless color variations that are possible. The hues can range from grey to green and in some cases blue. This Garnet can display violet colors similar to Amethyst and under candlelight can display deep bloodlike colors. To truly appreciate this remarkable stone one must view it under numerous light combinations and what we can assure is Color Change Garnet is sure to impress.

On the Mohs scale of harness Color Change, Garnet is a 7 - 7.5 out of 10 which again makes it great for all jewelry applications another fantastic quality this color change stone possesses which others lack.

Hessonite Garnet

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Hessonite Garnet is known for its honey yellow to brownish red cinnamon color and is a variety of grossularite garnet. Unlike other grossularite, this variety is anything but green. This variety has some unique characteristics one of which is the variety of transparencies it displays that give it a unique appearance. 'Hessonite Garnet' has honey-like inclusions that are to be expected of this gem type and do not detract from a quality specimen's value.

GemSelect's beautiful honey colored Hessonite is available in numerous cuts and sizes. We have pairs, and lots are affordable prices and some rarer larger pieces available. This variety of garnet comes from many areas of the world with the most well known to be Sri Lanka once faceted and polished Hessonite Garnet possess a vitreous luster and color that makes it easy to distinguish from other forms of garnet.

Pyrope Garnet

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Pyrope Garnet is the most popular of all the red garnet varieties. The deep red color of Pyrope Garnet can easily be mistaken for Ruby. The name for Pyrope Garnet comes from the Greek words for fire and eye because of this varieties exceptional brilliance. Pyrope garnet has a very high refractive index, so the gem type shimmers in the light. This variety of gem is often inclusion free and very affordable.

Pyrope garnet is also very durable which explains its high rating on the Mohs scale from 7-7.5. Because of this, Pyrope is available in numerous cuts and shapes as it is straightforward to work with and large sizes of this stone are affordable. The qualities of Pyrope Garnet including its color its affordability and its harness all make it an excellent choice for purchasing.

Pyrope Garnet comes from China, Madagascar, Myanmar, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and the USA. There are still deposits in the Czech Republic where its discovery initially occurred, but commercial mining there has ceased. One interesting fact about Pyrope Garnets color is the way it changes depending on the size of the stone. Smaller pieces of Pyrope Garnet are generally dark red, but the larger pieces tend to be much darker and even come close to black.

Rhodolite Garnet

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Rhodolite Garnet is a purplish red or raspberry-red colored garnet. It is a mix of Pyrope and Almandine Garnet, and its name comes from the Greek word for rose-colored. The purplish pink tones set Rhodolite Garnet apart from the other forms of garnet, and the raspberry-red hues are the most desirable. Rhodolite Garnet comes from in Brazil, Myanmar, China, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Tanzania, and the USA.

Good Rhodolite Garnet gemstones are typically inclusion free and exhibit a vitreous luster. They also have great brilliance due to their high refractive index. Rhodolite Garnet is available in numerous cuts and it has excellent durability and impact resistance. The violet and raspberry tones of this gem and its various qualities make it an exceptional gemstone for gemstone jewelry. One more positive characteristic of Rhodolite Garnet is its relative affordability.

GemSelect has numerous pieces of Rhodolite Garnet that with exceptional clarity and affordable prices and we have pairs; sell by piece gemstone lots and regular gemstone lots as well. Some of these gems are amazing so check out our supplies of Rhodolite Garnet today you will not be disappointed.

Spessartite Garnet

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Spessartite Garnet is an orange to a red-brown variety of garnet that belongs to the vast and varied species. This variety was discovered in a mountain range in Germany in the 1880s. But, Spessartite Garnet wasn't seen in jewelry often until deposits in Namibia and Mozambique occurred in the 1990s. The Spessartite Garnet species includes two of the other rarest forms of garnet color change garnet and Malaya garnet.

Spessartite Garnet can be identified by its orange tones that are notable in even the reddest samples. Spessartite Garnet also has a remarkable harness and is 7.5 out of 10 on the Mohs scale. Spessartite Garnet is available in both faceted and cabochon cuts, but the faceted cuts are often most desirable as they work with the stones high refractive index to create a remarkable brilliance.

Large pieces of Spessartite Garnet are scarce and valuable. Smaller stones can have a fantastic luster, and the colors they display can range from intense oranges and intense reds to reddish-brown. GemSelect has a large selection of Spessartite Garnet that is available in gemstone lots, pairs, and as individual faceted, cabochon, and mixed cut stones.

Mali Garnet

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Mali Garnet is another rare mixed species of Garnet, and it is also a newly discovered form of garnet. Mali Garnet comes from the West African country of Mali which we're sure explains the name. This Garnet is a mixture of Grossular and Andradite which are two sporadic forms of Garnet, and they are also among the most valuable because of this the discovery of Mali Garnet was fascinating and exciting.

To this day the only known source of Mali Garnet is in alluvial deposits in West Africa, in particular, the country of Mali. Mali Garnet comes in a large variety of colors including yellow, white, colorless, green, and red but it commonly occurs in shades of yellowish or brownish-green. Mint green and yellowish green Mali Garnet is very desirable, and the lighter stone has the most impressive brilliance.

Star Garnet

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As with all star-stones star garnets unusual yet desirable appearance is attributed to the asterism it displays. Star Garnet is quite rare and comes from only two places of the world one of which is India and the other is the USA. Star Garnet itself is usually a deep reddish-black or brownish-red, and the effect of asterism it displays is due to inclusions of rutile.

Most Star Garnet display a four-rayed star when viewed under intense light or direct natural sunlight, but some will show a six-rayed star. Pieces of Star Garnet that display six rays via their asterism are scarce and desirable.

Grossularite Garnet

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Grossularite Garnet is a yellow-green variety of Garnet. As with all garnet varieties, Grossularite has a typical crystal structure but a different chemical composition. Grossularite, in particular, is the calcium- aluminum form of Garnet. As with other types of Garnet Grossularite has an incredible luster and fire. Grossularite can range in color from a lemon yellow to a greenish yellow and produce variations that appear mint green and yellow-green.

Grossularite has incredible transparency, and most samples will include some visible inclusions generally speaking. At GemSelect we have Grossularite available in VVS or VVS-VS clarity and at affordable prices. Deposits of Grossularite come from numerous locations including Canada, USA, Africa, Russia, Madagascar, Tanzania, Kenya, Pakistan, Brazil, and Sri Lanka.

Almandine Garnet

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Almandine Garnet is one of the most common varieties of Garnet. Almandine is naturally available worldwide in abundance; however, the majority of almandine found is not gem quality material, and much of it is appropriate only for industrial applications.

This variety is available in a range of reds which include brownish red, orangey red, and purplish red. On the Mohs scale of harness Almandine is a 7.5 making it desirable for use in jewelry. The price per carat of this variety is similar to Pyrope which is strikingly identical red variety. The Major difference between Almandine Garnet and Pyrope are the sizes in which they are available.

  • First Published: December-06-2018
  • Last Updated: December-10-2018
  • © 2005-2018 GemSelect.com all rights reserved.
    Reproduction (text or graphics) without the express written consent of GemSelect.com (SETT Company Ltd.) is strictly prohibited.
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