Thursday, August 18, 2011

Gemstone of the Week: Garnet

("Sterling Silver Boxchain bracelet" by Handmaden Designs"

Garnet is a beautiful group of gemstones.  Most people think of garnets as being red, but there are many different types of garnets.  The specific types of garnet species are:

Andradite: includes the varieties of: Demantoid (a green garnet); Topazolite (yellow/orange); and Melanite (black).
Spessartine: includes the varieties of: Kashmirine (orange); Little Three Mine (also orange); and Mandarin garnet (again, orange).
Almandine (if pure): a purple garnet.
Pyope-almandine: varieties include: Rhodolite (purple-red/pink).
Pyrope (if pure): a red garnet.
Grossular-andradite: includes the varieties of: Mali garnet (green or yellow in colour).
Pyrope-spessartine: includes the varieties of: Colour change (variable in colour)  and Malaia garnet (orange/pink-orange).
Grossular: includes the varieties of: Hessonite (orange or yellow); Tsavorite (green); Translucent green garnets; Translucent white garnets; and Translucent pink garnets.

Garnet is the birthstone for January and also anniversary stone for the 2nd anniversary. Traditionally, garnets represent friendship. Some of the most beautiful red garnets are the Bohemian pyrope garnets from what used to be Czechoslovakia.