Out of all the semi-precious gemstones; garnets enjoy a certain level of fame, not entirely undeserved. Garnet is the birthstone for January and the gem for the second anniversary. You might get an image of a red gemstone when you think of garnets but would you know it, this celebrity gemstone comes in a myriad of colors. So many that Garnet is really the family name of wide range of gemstones.
The name Garnet covers a group of five minerals - pyrope, almandine, spessartine, grossular and andradite. These minerals all come in different colors sometimes more than one. The most populous type of garnet is red garnet. It has been worn and used in jewellery since ancient times. Pharaohs in ancient Egypt wore neck adornment studded with garnets and signet rings in Rome often had garnet intaglios that were used to stamp the wax that secured important documents. The other colors of garnet were only identified in modern times.
Africa supplies most of the world's Garnet, with Zimbabwe sporting a respectable amount. In terms of hardness and toughness, the different garnets range from 6.5 to 7.5 on Moh's scale of hardness. This means they can be scratched by diamonds, sapphires and rubies but they can scratch opals and moonstones in turn. So garnets will last when you take care of them.
Once upon a time people believed that garnets could soothe an angry heart; not surprising when you consider the intense romantic color of red garnets. We always have garnets in our jewellery, they work well alone or paired with other gemstones. Find garnets in our collections here.
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