Garnet: A Gem of All Colours


Lot 500: Antique Garnet, Diamond, Enamel and Gold Pendant Necklace. Offered in the Dupuis Fall 2014 Jewels Auction

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.



Lot 488: Rhodolite Garnet, Diamond and 18K White Gold Ring. A modern Kieselstein Cord ring, offered in the Dupuis Fall 2014 Jewels Auction

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.


Lot 319: An Antique Demantoid Garnet and Diamond Bee Brooch. Offered in the Dupuis Fall 2014 Jewels Auction


Grossular garnet is found in a number of colours, an attractive cinnamon colour is called hessonite.


Lot 628: Three Unmounted Hessonite Garnets. Offered in the Dupuis Spring 2014 Jewels Auction

Another colour of grossular garnet is a yellowish green.


Lot 105: A Garnet, Diamond, Platinum and Gold Floral Pendant/Brooch. Grossular garnet cabochon. Offered in the Dupuis Fall 2014 Jewels Auction

Tsavorite is the most precious of grossular garnets. Principally sourced in Tanzania, these are among the most beautiful of green gems.


Lot 537: Unmounted 3.35-Carat Tsavorite Garnet. Offered in the Dupuis Fall 2014 Jewels Auction

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.


Lot 43: A Lavender Jadeite and Tsavorite Garnet Ring. Offered in the Dupuis Fall 2014 Jewels Auction

Colour Change

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.


Lot 237: An Unmounted Colour-Change Garnet. Offered in the Dupuis Fall 2014 Jewels Auction

Garnets are unquestionably a beautiful and fascinating gem that can have an appeal to every taste, style and budget.


Lot 446: Enamel, Diamond, Garnet and 14K Gold Pansy Brooch. Offered in the Dupuis Fall 2014 Jewels Auction

About Duncan Parker

Duncan Parker, FGA, FCGmA, CAP (CJA), Vice President. Duncan is a columnist and contributor for industry magazines and journals. He has been an instructor of the gemstone course at Ryerson University, the Gemmology courses of George Brown College and Canadian Gemmological Association as well as instructor Master Valuer Program with the Canadian Jewellers Association. A renowned expert, he speaks regularly at international gem and jewellery conferences and symposiums, as well as at less formal events. He has served as President of the Canadian Gemmological Association since 1995. Before joining Dupuis Auctioneers, Duncan was a director of research at Harold Weinstein Ltd., a leading and respected jewellery appraisal company.
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