Garnet Jewelry


Garnet jewelry is well known for its deep, blood-red color and because it is the birthstone for January. The name garnet is derived from the Latin word granatum meaning pomegranate, which alludes to the stone's color and seed-like crystal structure within the rock where it was found. While garnet jewelry is often recognized by its intensely deep red color, it is actually available in many other colors and varieties. The word garnet is really a catch-all phrase for a group of minerals within the garnet family, almandine being the most common in garnet jewelry.

Surprisingly, almandine, though it is very common, is seldom worthy of being cut or polished and used in garnet jewelry. Therefore, its supply is limited. Other varieties are also used in making garnet jewelry, which may include: pyrope, rhodolite, spessartine, andradite, grossular and uvaroite. Each variety is slightly different, may contain traces of other varieties and may be more rare. Recently, garnet jewelry made with the Tsavorite garnet has become quite popular. This gemstone is from the grossular family and is used in garnet jewelry because it offers a beautiful emerald-like, intense green color. It actually takes its name from the botanical name for the gooseberry, R. grossularia. This is a nice alternative for those who do not care for red tones normally used in garnet jewelry.

Species of garnet used in the production of garnet jewelry, including almandine, pyrope, rhodolite and Tsavorite, have a Moh's scale of hardness rating of 7-7.5. Being non-porous, it is safe to clean your garnet jewelry with gem cleaner to maintain its brilliance. As with all gemstones, they may break if struck directly or crushed.

 


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