Garnets are one of nature’s most incredible creations – their superb radiance along with the amazing range of dazzling colours these gems display makes them a must-have for any jewellery enthusiast.
The following guide will explore some interesting facts about this exquisite gemstone, as well as outline some top buying tips when it comes to shopping for garnet rings.
Introduction to Garnet
Garnets belong to a group of silicate minerals and have a number of species within their family, such as pyrope, almandine, spesserite, grossular, tsavorite, uvarovite and andradite.
Used in jewellery throughout history, garnets have been found in the ruins of ancientEgypt,GreeceandRome.
The name garnet is derived from the English word ‘gernet’ which means ‘dark red’, and the Latin word ‘granum’ meaning ‘grain’.
Main Sources of Garnet
Garnets are found in various locations worldwide, withAfricabeing the main source. They are also sourced inBrazil,Mexico,Bohemia,AustraliaandNorth America.
One of the most sought after varieties are the Russian demantoid garnet, which is a bright green stone found in the Ural Mountains of Russia.
Tsavorite garnets are found only in the TsavovalleyofKenyaand were named by Tiffany jewellers in the 1960’s. They are a grossular variety, equal to the finest emerald.
The radiant orange spesserite garnet was discovered in the 1980’s inAngolaandNamibia– it has become a leading gemstone for high end jewellery designers.
Interestingly, the largest garnet ever found was discovered in centralAustralia. It weighs thousands of tons and measures nearly a hundred feet across.
Buying Tips for Garnet Rings
- Garnets come in a wide range of brilliant colours except for blue, although certain specimens do exhibit a bluish colour under artificial light.
- Their colours range from red (which is the most common variety) to orange, yellow, green, purple, brown, black, pink and colourless.
- Pyrope garnets are found in various shades of red, while spesserite garnets range from yellow and orange (also known as ‘Mandarin garnets’) to reddish brown and black.
- Tsavorite, uvarovite and demantoid garnets display a wonderful green colour.
- Almandine garnets have asbestos fibrous inclusions (natural inherent fissures), making them fairly tricky to cut. Nevertheless, they are highly prized because of their rarity.
- Andradite garnets are most sought after garnet varieties due to being so beautiful and rare (they are limited in supply as they are found only in small deposits).
- Grossularite garnets are light to colourless in hue, though in rare cases they are found in red or dark colours.
- Uvarovite garnets are the rarest of the garnet family. The presence of chromium causes them to display a gorgeously rich green colour.
- Generally, the most valuable type of garnet is the demantoid variety – some display a deep emerald green colour, while the rich deep red specimens are the most popular.
- Garnets exhibit a vitreous (glass-like) or resinous (amber like) lustre, along with a high refractive index (sparkle). These factors add to their exceptional allure.
- Although two garnets may weigh the same, it is always the colour which dictates the value of the gem.
- Garnets are fairly hard durable, weighing 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. This makes them perfect for cutting and polishing, as well as for use in rings which tend to suffer daily wear and tear.
- The cut of a garnet is particularly important since if done well it can make the stone appear larger, bring out its sparkly brilliance and clarity, as well as conceal inclusions (natural internal fissures).
- Garnets lend well to being cut in any of the gemstone designs, such as round, pear, emerald, oval, trillion, cushion and marquise. The princess cuts tends to be one of the most popular.
- As with all quality gem stones, the colour, cut, and clarity of each garnet dictates its value.
- Unlike many other gemstones, garnets are not generally artificially treated to bring out their colour.
Zodiac and Health benefits
Garnets are the birthstone for January and represent the zodiac sign of Aquarius. They are also popular as a gift for the second and sixth wedding anniversary.
It is believed that garnets are a highly protective stone. They are also thought to have healing powers, regulate the heart and blood flow, relieve skin inflammation and aid in curing depression. In early times, garnets were also used as gifts to enhance friendships.
These lovely gems have long been popular in the Far East andIndia, where they are often worn as an amulet for protection against bad luck, evil, poison, lightening and disease.
These outstanding gemstones come in a number of varieties to offer a virtually limitless choice of dazzling colours. When buying garnet rings, be sure to opt for an excellent cut as this will bring the gem’s captivating natural lustre to centre-stage.
Author bio:Julia Littlewood is a Jewellery Designer. She is passionate about ornaments, gems and stones. If you want to explore the most vibrant and widest range of jewellery pieces , she suggests you to visit The Jewellery Channel. Julia loves joining parties, fashion shows, exhibitions apart from designing costume jewelleries and writing articles for her followers.