GARNETS - THE BIRTHSTONE OF JANUARY
Garnet comes in an extraordinary variety of beautiful colors - not just red!
Prized as an ancient talisman for protection on the battlefield,
garnet is also known as the gemstone of love and passion.
Lore and legends claim garnet
is known to bring health, wealth and happiness to its wearers.
Garnet comes in many colors, and I love them all - emerald green tsavorite
garnet, hessonite garnet with its rich caramel colors,
pinky plum rhodolite garnet, olive green garnet,
scarlet, crimson pyrope garnet, orange mandarin garnet, spessarite garnet,
almondine garnet and uvarovite garnet.
This strand of garnet rondelles
shows some of the many
beautiful colors garnet comes
in - from light golden
shades to lavenders and
While red is the most traditional color garnet is known for,
ranging in shades from burgundy to browns to reds that rival rubies,
generally the green and orange varieties can be the most valuable.
Garnets can be found in almost every color, including colorless;
there is even a color change variety!
This can make identifying garnets confusing.
Garnets are one of the most complex gems in the world
with numerous species and varieties.
The five or six most important species are generally pyrope, almandine,
spessarite (spessartine), grossular, andradite and uvarovite.
Most of the garnets we know are blends of these species,
and they have their own unique names.
Rhodolite garnet is loved for its mulberry, plum pink color
in all of its shade ranges.
Rhodolite garnet is a blend of almandine and pyrope garnet.
In the earrings on the right, I have mixed rhodolite garnet with amethyst,
tsavorite garnet, mandarin garnet and more.
In the earrings on the left, I have mixed rhodolite garnet with hessonite garnet
and olive quartz.
I love how this warm golden and caramel gemstone
mixes with other colorful gemstones.
In this pair of chandelier earrings
I have mixed hessonite garnet with
olive quartz briolettes as well as
rondelles of rhodolite garnet and
green vesuvianite mixed in
with a few peacock pearls.
Another one of my favorite garnets is tsavorite garnet!
I love its vibrant, cheerful green color for mixing with other gemstones.
I find it useful to mix in jewelry for all seasons: it is perfect to mix with reds for
the winter Christmas holidays, with pinks and yellows for spring/summer
weddings, and it is especially lovely mixed with autumn hued gemstones.
Tsavorite has one of the most intense and vivid green colors
of any gemstone. Some interesting facts about this variety of garnet are
that it is never treated nor altered to improve its color and
that it is 200 times rarer than emerald.
It was also discovered in Tanzania in 1967 as was tanzanite!
Another favorite garnet I love to
use in jewelry is mandarin
garnet, a pure orange variety of
spessarite garnet. It has a
vibrant inner fire that brings life
to any gem mix.
in oxidized sterling silver
to highlight these beautiful garnet gemstones
in many of their colors!
In the center are green garnets;
centering the bottoms of the hoops are
mulberry hued rhodolite garnets,
flanked by mystic hessonite briolettes and
followed by more hessonite garnet onion briolettes.
You can see some of the amazing jewel tone hues
garnet can be found in.
Mandarin garnet is used in the clusters
of these pearl earrings mixing
with Ethiopian opals, citrine
sapphires, crystal quartz and
lots of tiny pearls.
Mandarin garnets are used in
the clusters of this jewelry
set, mixing with sunstone,
pink sapphires and Madiera
citrine over rutilated quartz
briolettes on rose gold filled wires.
Rich, regal, red garnet is always
a favorite! As mentioned before,
very expensive red garnets can rival
rubies for their beauty and color.
I love to use red garnets with mixed metals of oxidized silver and gold
as well as with moonstones and other colors of garnet.
One day I hope to find varieties of the color change garnets,
particularly the blue garnets that change to red with purple!
In the meantime, the best way to clean garnet jewelry is with
warm water, mild detergent and a soft bristle toothbrush,
never with high heat or machine cleaners.
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