Garnet – The Travelers Gemstone

Almost everyone confuses the Garnet Gemstone with the dark red stone only, the truth of the matter is that Garnet comes in an array of different colors with some of them costing nearly as much as a Sapphire. Garnet is the birthstone for the month of January and is the anniversary stone to celebrate two years of marriage. Good sources of Garnet originate from Argentina, Brazil, Germany, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Namibia, Pakistan, Russia and areas of Scandinavia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tanzania and the United States.

Garnet Gemstones come in a range of colors ranging from colorless to black, the only color they do not appear is blue. Garnet has a high specific gravity, which gives it a heavy weight. This makes it cost a little more than other Tansanit Gemstones of the same size and carat weight. Garnet sand is also used for industrial purposes to make sandpaper and mixed with high-pressure water jets to cut steel. Many different Gemstones make up the Garnet Group, here is a list of the more well known.

Pyrope…is the blood red variety of the group and was very popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, especially in ‘Bohemian Jewelry’. The best stones have a fiery red color that does not darken too much after being set in Jewelry. Pyrope has a bright glassy look to it and gem quality stones are mined at Buell Park, beyond the reaches of the Painted Desert just east of Canyon de Chelly with specimens up to five carats not uncommon.

Almandite…ranges in color from deep red to violet-red and sometimes even black.

It’s name is derived from a town in Asia Minor and it is often confused with Pyrope.

Often cut into cabochons with the underside hollowed out to allow more light to pass through the stone. Almandite can be brittle and have been known to chip while being faceted.

Rhodolite…has a beautiful bright purple-red color with it’s composition between that of Pyrope and Almandite, it also has fewer inclusions. Rhodolite is regarded as a superior Gemstone to both it’s red counterparts.

Spessartite…a rich orange to red-brown in color often with feather like inclusions, which are actually clouds of minute drops, clean Gemstone quality material is very rarely found and is often confused with Hessonite. A bright orange pure form of Spessartite, which is known as Mandarin Garnet is very rarely found in Gemstone quality material.

Hydrogrossular Garnet…has a very distinctive gooseberry-green color and is very often made into beads or cabochons. Very often inclusions of black magnetite are present which give the Gemstone a speckled look. Because of its resemblance to green Jade it is known as Transvaal Jade or Garnet Jade in South Africa. A variety of pink Hydrogrossular Garnet can also be found.

Grossular Garnet-Hessonite…A brown-orange to brown-yellow member of the Grossular Garnet group, Hessonite is also known as cinnamon stone. The Gemstone has inclusions of small crystals of apatite, that give a swirling effect.

Grossular Garnet-Tsavorite…is a lime-green to emerald-green member of the group, it was first mined in Kenya in 1968. Emerald-green crystals only produce small stones of 2 carats or less, ensuring that they are more expensive than the lime-green stones. Tsavorite is nearly always faceted as a Gemstone.

Demantoid…the bright green variety of andradite group of Garnet is very rare, it is also rare to find stones greater than 1 carat in weight. Demantoid has a very lively fire, as it has a higher light dispersion and brilliance than a diamond. The Gemstone has distinctive inclusions of yellow-brown hair like pieces of asbestos. Of all Garnets, Demantoid is by far the most valuable.

To give a gift of Garnet is believed to be a symbol of love and to show desire of a loved one’s safe travel and speedy homecoming. Garnet Gemstones are said to help attract love and to assist in past life recall. Garnet Gemstones have been carried by travelers to protect them from accidents while far away from home. Wearing Garnet Jewelry is believed to give guidance through the night and protection from nightmares. It is said that Noah used a Garnet lantern to navigate the Ark at night.

Garnet has a hardness of between 6.5 and 7.5 on the Moh scale of hardness. It is a perfectly suited Gemstone for use in Jewelry. This quite robust Gemstone is one of the few gems that look better in sterling silver rather than in gold. Above all enjoy the many different colors that Garnet Jewelry has to offer.

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