Garnet, a relatively common transparent gem and therefore modestly priced, has been popular in jewellery for millennia. All Garnets are composed of Aluminium Silicate, however various trace elements, such as magnesium, aluminum, manganese and calcium determine the colours of the stone. Although most people think of Garnet as a Reddish stone with brown undertones, this is only one type of Garnet (known as Pyrope or Mozambique Garnet). Garnet, in fact, comes in every colour of the rainbow except Blue. We commonly carry Pyrope Garnets, as well as Rhodolite Garnets (a lovely shade of Pinkish Purple), Spessartite Garnet, (the Golden Yellow variety) and the rare and exotic Tsavorite Garnets (which are a Rich Crisp Green).
Named for the Greek word for fire, due to its fiery Red colour, the result of Magnesium traces in the stone. This type of Garnet is typically found in South Africa, Australia, and the Czech Republic. It was a very fashionable stone in the 18th and 19th centuries. An antique Pyrope Garnet hairpin is on display at the Smithsonian Museum. Antique and Vintage Pyrope Garnet pieces are regularly available in our store. If you view a light through a Pyrope Garnet, it will appear Root Beer Brownish. This is the least expensive species of Garnet.
Rhodolite garnet comes in shades of pink, pale red, or even magenta. It is found in North Carolina, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Zambia, and Tanzania. A light viewed through a Rhodolite will appear Reddish Purple. Rhodolites are found in larger sizes than Pyrope stones are, they are rarer and therefore more costly. Their colour is a result of traces of Iron.
Spessartite Garnets are Manganese rich gems which appear in Orange to Orangey brown. Small stones are fairly common whereas gems up to a carat and a half are unusual.. Gems of this species over two carats are very rare and much more expensive.
Tsavorite garnet is the most rare type of garnet, which is found only in East Africa. They are found in various shades and hues of green, with the most precious gems mimicking the Deep Rich Green of Emerald. However, even though they are much harder, tougher and much brighter in sparkle, Tsavorite Garnets are less expensive. These Garnets also generally lack the inclusions and flaws typical of an Emerald. The only real problem is the fact that large Tsavorites are very, very rare. Larger Emeralds are fairly easy to obtain.
Garnets, in the Red colours, are the birthstone for January, and a traditional gift for the Second Anniversary. Cost depends upon which size and type of garnet you prefer (with the more rare types naturally being more costly). Garnet is one of the stones in the Breastplate of Aaron , Priest of God, in the Old Testament of the Bible.