A gem in far more colors than just red
The garnet mostly occurs in granular form. Hence its name, which is derived from the Latin word granum (German: “Korn”).
The Garnet group includes not only the best-known color varieties in different shades of red, but also many more gemstones that have a similar crystal structure and can have very different colors.
Except for a blue garnet, the garnet is available in a wide variety of colors. In addition to the red garnet, there are also green, yellow, orange, brown, black and colorless garnet varieties.
The garnet mineral group
|Chemical Formula||The Garnet Group is composed of several minerals with related chemical formulas. The generic formula for the common Garnets is:|
X represents Ca, Fe2+, Mn, or Mg
Y represents Al, Cr, or Fe3+
|Composition||Pyrope: Magnesium aluminum silicate|
Almandine: Iron aluminum silicate
Spessartine: Manganese aluminum silicate
Grossular: Calcium aluminum silicate
Andradite: Calcium iron silicate
Uvarovite: Calcium chromium silicate
|Color||Red, brown, black, green, yellow, orange, pink, white, and colorless. (Garnets come in all colors with the exception of bluish shades.) Massive specimens from certain localities can be multicolored white, pink, and/or light green.|
|Hardness||6.5 – 8.0|
|In well-formed, distinct, dodecahedral and trapezohedral crystals. Also in compact crystal groupings, grainy, massive, as rounded crystals, and as groups of small crystals.|
The red color varieties are particularly well known and popular, but others are also ideal for garnet jewelry. Due to the high refraction of light and the good hardness of the gemstone garnet, it is perfect for sparkling gemstone jewelry.
The purity of the garnet gemstone is very important. The purer the stone, the more valuable it is.
There are several factors that affect the value of a gem. This includes the carat weight, the purity, the cut and the color of the stone. The carat weight is a unit of measurement for the weight of a gemstone. One carat (ct) corresponds to 0.2 grams.
In the case of garnet, the cut is very important because it makes the gem shine and emphasizes its properties.
The garnet group and their varieties
Garnet includes not only the best-known color varieties in different shades of red, but also many more gemstones that have a similar crystal structure and can have very different colors. In addition to the red representatives, there are also green, yellow, orange, brown, black and colorless garnet gemstones. Only a blue garnet has not yet been found. The most important garnet varieties are pyrope and almandine, the red and thus best known variants. A rose-red variety is the popular rhodolite, a pyrope-almandine mixed crystal. There is also the orange to red-brown Spessartin and Grossness, which in turn can be colorless, green, yellow or brown.
Especially in the 18th and 19th centuries, the pyrope was very fashionable, the “Bohemian garnet” was particularly popular. The pyrope is bright red or blood red with a slight tinge of brown. You can confuse it with almandine, ruby or a red tourmaline. The almandine also belongs to the garnet group and is a so-called “Karfunkelstein”. Its red often has a violet tinge. The color of both garnet gemstones – pyrope and almandine – is based on the mineral components iron and chrome.
The garnet is the birthstone of January.
Traditionally, a garnet is given away for the second wedding anniversary.
Occurrence of garnet
Most natural garnet gemstones that are processed today come from Sri Lanka, the USA and South Africa.
Other locations are Brazil, India, Madagascar, Myanmar and African countries.