19 Jan Garnets, January Birthstone
Garnets, January’s birthstone and what a gem! Yet most people don’t really know much about them.
The Garnet group or family encompass a wide variety of “minerals” or “gems” coming in nearly every colour imaginable from the rich and luscious greens of tsavorites to the fiery red and purples of rhodolite and top-quality Almandines.
Yet many people think of garnets as dull, drab and boring brownish red gemstones with not much to offer in terms of beauty. I find most of these examples are in commercial grade gems which have been cut poorly to maximise weight and found in low quality jewellery.
Below I will guide you through what I think Is the most diverse and varied gemstone family that is garnet.
The most common member of the garnet family. Generally seen in dark reddish brown colours
A mixture of Almandine and Pyrope garnet. It comes in purplish red or raspberry colours and can be that is valued for its purplish-red or raspberry colour.
A brilliant yellow to brownish green garnet with excellent dispersion and lustre. Rare in sizes larger than 2cts. The only known source is Mali the largest country in west Africa.
Also called Cinnamon stone. It can be found in orange and rich brown tones. It often has a treacle like internal feature.
A wonderful bright gem in burnt orange to vibrant orange, also known as mandarin Garnet.
Available in vibrant shades of green and is a great alternative to emerald.
First found in east Africa in the mid-1960s first thought to be Spessartite but was found to fit between existing garnet grounds and hence termed Malaya. Swahili for “out of family”. Its magnificent colours range from pinkish orange to reddish brown and a multitude of shades in between.
Meaning “diamond like lustre” is a magnificent bright green. It is very rare and usually only found in small sizes.
Thanks for reading. My name is George and I’m a designer, qualified jeweller and gemmologist here at Brett’s Jewellers.
Tell me, whats your favourite gemstone?