Garnets are among the most familiar gems, and they are the birthstone for January. We usually think of garnets as brownish red, but they come in a rainbow of colours and are among the most interesting gems available. They are used in everything from casual to formal jewels. They can make a thoroughly modern statement and are also found in very fine antiques.
Far from being from a narrow palette of brownish to reddish, pyrope and almandine garnets, or the pinkish red “rhodolite”, we have a rainbow of possibilities.
Demantoid garnets are among the most precious garnets. Most famously found in Russia, these green garnets can be bright and lively, and are often seen in antique jewellery. Demantoid is one of the few gems in which people actually want to see detectable inclusions, and these golden fibre inclusions are called “horsetails”, their presence helps to prove that the gem is demantoid.
Grossular garnet is found in a number of colours, an attractive cinnamon colour is called hessonite.
Another colour of grossular garnet is a yellowish green.
Tsavorite is the most precious of grossular garnets. Principally sourced in Tanzania, these are among the most beautiful of green gems.
Tsavorite garnets are often used as accent gems around feature stones in modern jewellery, and the rich green works very well to complement other colours.
The newest, and possibly rarest, garnet is a colour change gem that shows blue in daylight and a purple to pink in incandescent light. This fascinating phenomenon is highly desired among collectors, and is unquestionably a conversation starter.
Garnets are unquestionably a beautiful and fascinating gem that can have an appeal to every taste, style and budget.