Garnet Gemstone Education
Garnets are symbols of trust, kindness and passion, and have been set in jewelry for thousands of years. Noah’s Ark found its way by the light of a garnet lantern, so travelers sometimes carry the stone for protection. Technically, garnet is the family name for ten gemstones that have a similar chemical structure, six of which are typically used in jewelry. Most people associate the word ‘garnet’ with deep, brownish red, but it also comes in other colors, like orange and green.
Choosing a stone
- 1. Color: Garnets come in almost all colors of the rainbow except blue, though red is the most common variety. Because pyrope garnet is deep red, it is sometimes confused with ruby.
- 2. Clarity: Clarity is second only to color in ranking colored stones. The clearer the garnet the better it is, but garnets are never as clean as diamonds and shouldn’t be judged using the same criteria.
- 3. Cut: Garnets are fashioned in all cuts displayed below. Popular shapes include round, oval, emerald-cut and pear.
- 4. Enhancements: Garnets are generally not treated.
- African countries are the most common sources of garnet, but India, Russia, Central America and South America also have deposits
- Garnets found in Tsavo, Kenya are rich green in color and make a gemstone category of their own called Tsavorite
- Garnet is the birthstone for the month of January
- Garnet is the zodiac stone for the sign Aquarius
- Garnet is the suggested gift for second anniversaries
- In 1996, a 19th century garnet brooch was sold for $145,000 at Jackie Kennedy’s estate auction