All The Brilliants

The Skinny on Garnet

The word Garnet originates from the Latin word ‘granum’ meaning seedlike - referencing both the round shape of the crystal and the rich, red hue of pomegranate seeds.

Garnet has been significant across cultures for thousands of years. According to legend, Noah illuminated his arc with a glowing garnet through 40 dark days and nights of rain. To ancient Greeks, it symbolized eternity, separated love and encouraged a quick return. In Asiatic warrior traditions, garnet pellets were believed to inflict particularly bloody, lethal wounds. It adorned Egyptian pharaohs (in life and death) and was placed next to wounds to expedite healing. During the Middle Ages in Europe, garnet signified trust and affection and was a popular gift between friends.

Whatever it may symbolize for you today, we've outlined points to help you understand value and what to ask to make an informed decision on the garnet you will LOVE!


 
The Skinny on Garnet
 

 
Garnet Things To Know

This natural mandarin garnet is courtesy of Wild & Petsch for the purpose of education - 7.78 carats from Nigeria.

A special thank you to Wild & Petsch for sharing incredible garnets with me for purpose of education.

The word Garnet originates from the Latin word ‘granum’ meaning seedlike - referencing both the round shape of the crystal and the rich, red hue of pomegranate seeds.

Garnet has been significant across cultures for thousands of years. According to legend, Noah illuminated his arc with a glowing garnet through 40 dark days and nights of rain. To ancient Greeks, it symbolized eternity, represented separated love and encouraged a quick return. In Asiatic warrior traditions, garnet pellets were believed to inflict particularly bloody, lethal wounds. It adorned Egyptian pharaohs (in life and death) and was placed next to wounds to expedite healing. During the Middle Ages in Europe, garnet signified trust and affection and was a popular gift between friends.

Whatever they may symbolize for you today, we've outlined points to help you understand value and what to ask to make an informed decision on the garnet you will LOVE!

 

 
Demantoid Garnet

This natural demantoid garnet is courtesy of Wild & Petsch for the purpose of education - 1.57 carats from Namibia.

 

 

ORNELLA IANNUZZI 

Mother Nature is pure magic as @OrnellaIannuzzi’s wonderfully rough garnet crystal earrings demonstrate. Ornella’s one-of-a-kind “Les Exceptionnelles” jewels are inspired by her fascination with geology and awe of nature’s architecture. These pieces are a response to each unique mineral specimen and the dynamism of their crystallization or inclusions. The metal work mirrors Mother Nature’s billion-year-old artwork.

 

 

ZAFFIRO JEWELRY 

Garnets have “color pow” unlike any other gemstone. Case in point? When diverse varieties of garnet meets high karat gold in the hands of @ZaffiroJewelry, THIS happens!

Meet one very juicy 1.77 carat mandarin garnet ring from their Classic Collection. It is flanked with magenta sapphires and mandarin garnets in granulated 22 karat yellow gold.

What could be more fresh than this 5.28 carat mint green cabochon garnet ring from Zaffiro’s Chiara Collection? Especially when joined by deep emerald-green tsavorite garnets in 22 karat yellow gold with platinum granulation.

All of the garnets are from Africa.

There is a reason why Zaffiro often chooses stones based on their personalities… “some are just livelier than others”. Garnet is proof of this!

 


Garnet Education

Garnets are incredibly charismatic, so prepare to be dazzled. The most common gemstone quality variety we all know well is the raspberry-red, purplish-red rhodolite garnet. Less common are mandarin hued spessartine garnets and even more rare is the emerald-green tsavorite. Ready for the dazzle part?

Garnets can occur in every color of the rainbow! This is because garnet is a large group that includes a variety of minerals that are often of mixed “species”. One phenomenal variety (composed of pyrope and spessartite) share a rare quality with sapphire and alexandrite, known as color change. In fact, garnet is known to exhibit the widest variety of color change hues among all gemstones.

The most rare and valuable garnet type is the demantoid garnet. This saturated green stone exhibits a higher refractive index than ruby and sapphire and an exceptional fire and brilliance that rivals diamonds. What is the most prized quality of demantoid garnets? Perfect “imperfections” called inclusions! The most prestigious of which have fibrous ‘horsetails’, often indicative of a Russian origin. Demantoid garnets are the only gemstone whose inclusions are highly desirable - and elevate value.

Garnet Education

Garnets occur in metamorphic rocks found on every continent. Below are a few countries paired with varieties of garnet:

AFGHANISTAN - large producer of mandarine (spessartine) garnet

BRAZIL - various varieties

INDIA - red (rhodolite) garnet

IRAN - demantoid garnet (a recent discovery)

KENYA - emerald-green tsavorite garnet from the world-renowned Scorpion mine

MYANMAR - mandarine (spessartine) garnet among other varieties

NAMIBIA - mandarine (spessartine) garnet

RUSSIA - demantoid garnet

SRI LANKA - red (rhodolite) garnet

TANZANIA - emerald-green tsavorite garnet first discovered in 1967

Garnet Education

Unlike many natural gemstones, it is not common for garnets to be heat treated or enhanced by other methods.

On the topic of treatment of any kind with any gemstone, knowledge is power because it always impacts value.

Garnet Education

The Mohs scale of hardness is important to consider when choosing a particular stone for a particular kind of wear. Mohs scale is the degree of mineral “hardness”, measured by the resistance which a smooth surface offers to abrasion: 1 (soft) to 10 (hard). For example, an 8 will scratch a gemstone that is a 7 or below. Simply put, the softer the stone, the more careful you need to be about wearing that stone in jewelry that may be exposed to more wear.

Garnet, while still in the hard range, is a 6.5 - 7.5. Be aware it can be more susceptible to every day scratches and damage with accidental bumps. For significant or rare garnets, choosing kinds of jewelry (i.e. cocktail rings, necklaces or earrings) that will encounter less contact with harder surfaces is a good option.

Garnet Education

A few jewelry care basics can keep your pieces looking their best, avoid damage and loss of gemstones.

WEAR: When dressing for day or night, jewelry should be the last thing on and the first thing off. Contact with chemicals such as fragrance, hairspray, nail polish remover, household cleaners and chlorine can harm jewelry. Remove jewelry when cleaning, gardening, swimming or playing sports, as contact with hard surfaces can scratch, damage or loosen stones in prongs.

CHECK SETTINGS AND STONES: Inspect jewelry before wearing it to check if stone is chipped, loose or rattles in settings.

CLEANING: All precious metals, gemstones and pearls should be cleaned regularly, but require different care. For example, ultrasonic cleaners can crack opals, shatter pearls or diminish their appearance. For gemstones on the Mohs scale at 7 or above, a simple cleaning solution is warm water with mild soap and soft toothbrush. For those at 6 or below, replace the toothbrush with a soft cloth. Be sure the jewel is thoroughly rinsed and dry prior to storage. A soft polishing cloth will keep any precious metal looking its best. 

STORAGE: Keep jewelry individually stored in a pouch or box to avoid scratches and abrasions from other gemstones and metal, as well as general tangles and dents.

INSURANCE: For any jewelry of significant value, be sure to have it appraised, file any provenance and gemstone certifications in a secure place and be sure to have it insured.