GARNET

Hot on the heels of holiday celebrations come January birthdays! Celebrate January babies this month with their amazing birthstone – garnet! Oh and don’t forget – garnet also happens to be the gemstone of choice for 2nd year wedding anniversaries!

A juicy compilation of garnet pieces from our Estate and BeColorful Collections

Some of the January-born

Kate Middleton | Benjamin Franklin | Kate Middleton |Oprah Winfrey | Justin Timberlake | Kate Moss | Martin Luther King Jr. | Faye Dunaway | Mariska Hargitay
Ellen DeGeneres | Rush Limbaugh | Edgar Allen Poe | Alicia Keys | Mary J. Blige | Joan of Arc | Neil Diamond |Wolfgang Mozart

What Is Garnet?

The word garnet is derived from Latin “granatum” which means seed, and is called so because of the gemstone’s resemblance to the beautifully red seeds of the pomegranate. granate-and-pomegranates

Garnet is a group of minerals that have the same crystal structure but slight differences in chemical composition.  Variations in trace elements such as iron, manganese, chromium and vanadium produce the kaleidoscopic color range of garnets:

  • Pyrope (purple to orangy red)
  • Almandine (purple to orangy red)
  • Spessartine (oranges and yellows)
  • Grossularite (colorless to yellow, to reddish orange and orangy red, to vibrant green)
  • Andradite (yellow and yellowish green)
  • A sixth, uvarovite, is a green garnet that usually occurs as crystals too small to cut. It’s sometimes set as clusters in jewelry.  There are also mixtures of these five species, creating even more colors.  Source: www.gia.edu

Group of garnets showing the broad color range in the species and varieties.

Where Is Garnet Found?

Red garnet is one of the most common and widespread of gems, found in metamorphic rocks (which are rocks altered by heat and pressure) on every continent. It is found all over the world, including Wyoming, Czech Republic, Greece, Russian, Tanzania, Madagascar, Sri Lanka and India.

 

14k yellow gold green garnet and diamond pendant (GAPE01492) – $1,195

Garnet History

While gemstones should never take the place of proper medical care, it is interesting to learn about the powers they have been ascribed throughout history. Garnet is said to have been used as a sacred stone by the Native American Indians, the South American Indians, the Aztecs, the African tribal elders, and the Mayans. They believed it expanded one’s awareness due to the flash of lightening contained within, and enhances one’s internal fire to bring out creative powers.

Bremer Jewelry “BeColorful” 14k White Gold Garnet And Diamond Necklace (GAPE01456) – $425

In Europe during the Middle Ages, Garnet was used to enhance truth, faith and constancy, and to dispel melancholy. Some people believe that it grounds spirit forces within the body, helps with low libido, cures acne and corrects abnormal heart rhythms.  To some, it represents primordial fire, the creation of the world out of chaos, purification and love. Garnet is obviously a stone of strong passion!

Victorian era garnet cabochon and diamond ring

 

The Victorians made garnets very popular. Some of the loveliest garnet jewelry from that era mimics its pomegranate namesake, with clusters of tiny red gems forming a larger statement piece.

Antique Garnet Cluster Ring mimcs the garnet’s namesake – pomegranate.

The Victorians made garnets very popular. Some of the loveliest garnet jewelry from that era mimics its pomegranate namesake, with clusters of tiny red gems forming a larger statement piece.

Famous Garnets

Kate’s Birthstone Band

Duchess Kate has worn this lovely band set with alternating garnets (3 stones) and seed pearls (2) since as far back as 2005 – from her dating period with Prince William! Garnet is Kate’s birthstone and pearl is William’s birthstone. Source: www.dianasjewels.net

The Antique Pyrope Hair Comb

This is no ordinary hair comb! This antique hair comb hails from the Victorian Era. Each of the pyrope garnets are rose cut, a popular cut during this era. The rose cut has a faceted top and flat bottom and gems were often mounted in yellow gold, gold plate, or mixed metals. Originally from mines in Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic, Bohemian pyropes cover this gorgeous piece. Ales and Maria Herdlicka donated it to the Smithsonian Institution in 1937. Source: www.gia.edu

Antique Pyrope Garnet Hair comb, Source: www.gia.edu

How To Buy Garnet

With all the different varieties of garnet available, it’s a good idea to start with an AGS certified jeweler who can assist you in purchasing exactly the right stone! A qualified seller will be able to show you different qualities, will show you how garnet reacts under different kinds of light, will be able to discern synthetic from natural stones, and ensure you get the best gem for your money!

Garnets can be judged along the same parameters as diamonds, but it should be noted that some types of inclusions actually add value to the stone. For example, “horsetail” inclusions can be found in Demantoid garnets and are often sought after.

The more rare the color of the garent, the more likely the value of the piece will increase over time. Green and blue garnets tend to be more rare.

Try to find a cut that allows light to spread evenly throughout the stone in order to bring out its beauty and color.

PANDORA offers a wide variety of charms, rings, earrings, and pendants featuring garnet!

How to Care for Garnet Jewelry

The garnet is a durable gemstone (6.5-7.5 on the Mohs scale) and has fair to good toughness, making them durable enough for all jewelry styles as long as they are treated with the proper care. Garnets should not be subjected to any hard blows or rough wear. Warm soapy water is always safe for cleaning garnets. The ultrasonic cleaner is usually safe except for stones that have fractures (Garnets might rarely be treated by fracture filling). Steam cleaning is not recommended.  As always, Bremer Jewelry is happy to safely and professionally clean your garnet jewelry for FREE!

Thanks for hanging with us and learning about garnet 🙂 Don’t miss next month’s birthstone blog where we’ll explore everything there is know about amethyst!

 

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