About Garnet – Almandite

By the term ‘Garnet’, the specialist understands a group of more than ten different gemstones of similar chemical composition. It is true to say that red is the color most often encountered, but Garnet also exists in various shades of green, a light to intense yellow, a fiery orange and some fine earth-colored nuances. The only color it does not offer is blue. Which is now in debate due to the existence of Color Change Garnets, which can display a greenish blue color under natural light. Garnets are a highly sought after and prized gemstone. Especially due to all of the variety that it offers. Furthermore, the world of the garnets is also rich in rarities such as star garnets and stones whose color changes depending on whether they are seen in daylight or artificial light.

Almandite – is a fairly common red Garnet , with a color range from orangy red through red to reddish purple. Almandite occurs rather abundantly in the gem-gravels of Sri Lanka where it was sometimes called Ceylon-ruby. When the color inclines to a violet tint, the stone is often called Syriam garnet, a name said to be taken from Syriam, an ancient town of Pegu (now part of Myanmar) Large deposits of fine almandine-garnets were found, some years ago, in the Northern Territory of Australia, and were at first taken for rubies and thus they were known in trade for some time afterwards as Australian rubies.

Pyrope – Pyrope is the only member of the garnet family to always display red coloration in natural samples, and it is from this characteristic that it gets its name: from the Greek for fire and eye. Pyrope crystals are often found in association with Diamonds and are much smaller in size to Almandite.

Rhodolite – A further Garnet variety, also red, is the Rhodolite, a mixed crystal of Almandite and Pyrope. For a Pyrope /Almandite Garnet to be classified as Rhodolite, it must have at least a tint of violet. This popular garnet is of a magnificent velvety red with a fine violet or raspberry-red undertone. Originally found in the USA, it now comes mainly from the gemstone mines in East Africa, India and Sri Lanka.

Sources are numerous including Brazil, India, Myanmar, Madagascar, Pakistan , Sri Lanka, Australia and the US. Hardness is 7-7.5 and Toughness is Fair to Good.

Garnet is the birthstone for January.