Garnet is the January birthstone. If you think Garnet is an ordinary red stone, think again. Garnet comes in a variety of species and colours and there is something for everyone! Read on to find out more.
There are more colours to choose from than red when it comes to garnets. A full and rich palette includes greens, oranges, pinkish oranges, purplish reds, some blues, and even colour change.
Pyrope, almandine, spessartine, grossular and andradite are all different garnet “groups”. Pyrope and almandine range from purple to red while spessartine offers exciting oranges and yellows. Andradite is mostly yellow to green and includes the gem variety Demantoid. Grossular may have the widest range, from colorless through yellow to reddish-orange and orangy red, as well as a strong vibrant green called Tsavorite, one of the most expensive garnets and it resembles an Emerald.
According to Indian astrology, garnet helps eliminate negative feelings such as depression and instill greater self-confidence and mental clarity to promote creative thinking and peace of mind.
Garnets come from many different regions and countries. In 19th century Russia, green demantoid garnets from the Ural Mountains were prized by the Russian royal family and used by the great jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé (1846–1920). Today, the African continent supplies much of the world’s garnet. Namibia is now producing demantoids, and most of the bright green tsavorites in the market today come from Kenya, Tanzania, and Madagascar.
The different types of garnet range between 6.5 and 7.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness. This means that this birthstone is more susceptible to damage than rubies, sapphires, and diamonds. Although not all garnets are good candidates for daily wear, they are ideal for earrings and pendants. Garnet jewellery should be stored carefully as to not rub against harder gems that can scratch them and cause abrasion on your stone. Also, your garnet can scratch softer gemstones such as opals or pearls.
Clean your garnet jewellery with a soft brush with warm, soapy water. Ultrasonic cleaners are usually safe, except for stones that have fractures or have been fracture-filled. Steam cleaning is not recommended. As for all your jewellery, bring it to your jeweller for a professional, and safe, cleaning.