The oranges of autumn leaves, the glowing red coals of a winter fire, the sparkling green of a summer field, and the beautiful pinks and of spring flowers, garnet is a gemstone for all seasons. Garnets are a closely related group of gemstones that are available in every color but blue. Dark reds, tangerine orange, vivid lime green, soft bluish-pink, garnet is all these colors and more.
The two most popular garnets will be the rhodalite, with its characteristic reddish rose color, and the reddish brown almandite garnet. Both of these stones are rather inexpensive and make beautiful looking jewelry items at a very low cost.
The green tsavorite garnet is perhaps the most rare.
This stone will rival a very fine emerald in its finest qualities. Tsavorite garnet is a bright yellow green to grass green, and is mined in Tanzania and Kenya.
Legendary demantoid garnet combines a bright green with dazzling brilliance that won over the Tsars of Russia, who used it lavishly. Unfortunately demantoid garnet was only ever available in small sizes and is extremely rare today.
Garnets should be generally free of inclusions and offer even colors with no banding or zoning. Most will be well cut and proportioned unless you are offered a very inexpensive stone. The stone is very durable and wears very well.
Garnets have long been carried by travelers to protect against accidents far from home. In ancient Asia and the American Southwest, garnets were used as bullets because the glowing red color was said to increase the ferocity of a wound.
Garnets in legend light up the night and protect their owners from nightmares. Noah used a garnet lantern to navigate the Ark at night. The ancient world is full of praise for the carbuncle, the glowing red coal of a gemstone we now now as garnet.
The name garnet probably comes from pomegranate. Many ancient pieces of garnet jewelry are studded with tiny red stones that do look a lot like a cluster of pomegranate seeds! Jewelry set with garnets from Czechoslovakia was extremely popular in the nineteenth century and Bohemian garnet jewelry is still popular today, although today the garnets are mined elsewhere.
When you say garnet, most people think automatically of small dark red gemstones, even though this is only one corner of the world of garnets.
Garnet is the birthstone for January, which means that January babies have a lot of choices! Varieties available, some mineral differences and some color descriptions, include rhodolite, malaya, demantoid, grossular, hessonite, spessartite, hessonite, almandine, mandarin, and combinations between these varieties.