Garnet, A Rainbow of Colors and the January Birthstone Posted on 26 Jan 13:08

Garnet is the birthstone of January and to Zodiacal stone for Capricorn. Garnet comes in a rainbow of colors, each with a different name. Some are abundant, and some are very very rare.

Garnet is a silicate mineral, which is formed of oxygen and silicon. The different colors are determined by random amounts of calcium, magnesium, and aluminum. Garnet is mined all of the planet and most of the colorful garnets come from African sources

When most people think of garnet, they think of the dark red stone that was set in Grandma's jewelry. These red garnets have a long history but garnet comes in a rich array of colors: greens, oranges, pinkish oranges, purplish reds, and even some color shifting garnets.

Colors of Garnet:

Almandite Garnet is probably the most familiar red garnet. The colors range from orangy red, through red to reddish purple.

Almandite Garnet Strand

Pyrope garnet, from the Greek work pyropos, which is translated as "fiery red". The best of pyrope garnets have a glowing red color. Other colors of pyrope range from medium to dark reddish orange all the way to purplish red.

pyrope garnet neckace

Rhodolite garnet is translated from the Greek...rhodon, "rose", and lithos, "stone". It is actually a mixture of almandite garnet and pyrope garnet. This stone must contain purplish hues in order for it to be classified as rhodolite.

rhodolite garnet earrings

Spessartite garnets are a bright and lively orange. They can range from medium-light to dark-yellowish, to reddish-orange. Prices are generally a little higher for these stones.

Hessonite garnet is a warm yellow-orange to a cinnamon color but almost always has a brownish hue. Under the microscope, you may see inclusions of other minerals that produce a "heat wave" or "scotch-in-water" appearance. 

Malaya garnet is a relatively new find. It is a combination of spessartite and pyrope garnet. The colors of this amazing garnet range from light to dark pinkish, reddish, or yellowish orange. It is one of the more expensive garnets.

Tsavorite garnets are one of the green garnets and today's most important green garnet. It is sometimes used as a less expensive alternative to emerald.

Demantoid garnet was mined mainly in the Russian Ural Mountains. It can be seen set in gold and platinum with diamonds in the jewelry from the Russian nobility of the mid-1800's.

Garnet is one of my favorite gemstones and one of the few that is rarely "enhanced". Some, like the pyropes are plentiful and more easily found. In fact, some garnets are found outside of anthills, laying where the ants threw them out of their nest. These garnets are actually called anthill garnets.

Some garnets are phenomenal, which means that they can exhibit certain traits, like color change, asterism (like star sapphires), adularescence (like moonstone). Some garnets exhibit color change, which can be seen with different lighting. These garnets are great in rings where the wearer can enjoy them.

Have a peek at some of my garnet jewelry.

 Pyrope Garnet Multi Strand Necklace

Rhodolite Tassel Earrings

Mozambique Red Garnet Necklace

Red Garnet Bracelet