“A piece of pure nature.” Isn’t that a great way to describe garnets? Unlike other stones that need oiling (emeralds), heat (blue topaz) or other treatments to achieve a market-desired color, the grand garnet group is au naturel! The January birthstone has a broad range of colors, all in the same mineral family.
Across a spectrum of species, from the common almandine with its familiar rich, red hue to the glistening greens found in the grossular and andradite species, garnets have a color for everyone. It is even found in orangey tones known as spessartine. Pick one and wear it with care; while common garnets are a harder stone, the rare varieties featuring unusual colors are a bit softer.
Garnet clarity often depends on garnet type. Red garnets, almandine, pyrope and rhodolite, often don’t have eye-visible inclusions. Some of the orange garnets, like spessartine and hessonite, often have eye-visible inclusions. Demantoid might have eye-visible inclusions called horsetails that actually can raise its value.
Loved through the centuries, garnet has a history that extends well into the past. Loved by the ancients, prized through the Middle Ages and treasured during the Victorian era, the fashionable stone offers color and beauty to the next generation of gem lovers.