A family of gemstone
s, most often dark red (darker than a ruby
). It can come in many different shades, mostly in the red-orange-brown family, but sometimes blue, green, yellow, and so dark as to seem black.
Types of garnets:
- Almandine is a deep red which gets its color from iron. This is what most people think of when they think of garnets. Occasionally inclusions in these stones form an asterism, or a star garnet.
- Pyrope is a cherry-red, colored by chromium, with no brown undertones as almandine has.
- Rhodolite is a stone which is part almandine, part pyrope; it is most commonly described as raspberry-colored, but can even be pink or purple.
- Spessartine is an orange-red or plain orange stone, also called "Mandarin garnet." These are becoming more popular on the market in the 1990s; before then they were rarely seen.
- Malaia garnet is a mixture of almandine, pyrope, and spessartine; rutile inclusions are fairly common in these stones.
- Grossularite is a yellow gem with a hint of green in its color; these can be easily mistaken for peridot.
- Hessonite is a golden brown stone, which looks like a hyacinth zircon.
- Tsavorite is a light emerald green garnet primarily found in Kenya. Its color is caused by vanadium in the stone. It's one of the most expensive garnets because it has a limited supply and a popular color.
- Demantoid (also called andradite) is a rare green garnet (light green like a peridot) which was discovered in Russia in the mid-1800s. It often contains curved asbestos fibers inside the stone. It was fairly popular in Victorian times, and jewelry from that era with these stones is expensive because the supply is limited.
- Uvarovite garnet is bright green and quite brittle; this makes it difficult to cut for jewelry. Its supply is also sporadic and it's not much seen on the market.