Garnets in the gemstone world are known by many colors, but most people think of the deep, burgundy red or pinkish scarlet for Garnet. Red Garnets share the same mineral family as green garnets (called demantoid or tsavorite) and bright yellow to red tones of spessartite or hessonite. Color comes from the presence of calcium chromium in green garnets (tsavorite and demantoid) and manganese aluminum or iron (spessartite and red stones). Red garnets range in color and are categorized by Pyrope and Rhodolite. Rhodolite usually has pinkish-purple hues, while the Pyrope variety is generally deeper crimson and pomegranate to darker root beer red.
Garnet had been favored by generations of royalty and nobility, often found in crowns, jewelry, and every treasure trove. The exotic red of these gemstones has symbolized wealth and power rivaling rubies and diamonds. Garnets are often set with pearls, diamonds, and sometimes with smaller green stones flanking, and most commonly in gold. They were also combined with enamel and cloisonné designs in earrings and bracelets. Although found in every cut imaginable, round, oval, square types and teardrops are popular shapes in pendants, earrings, and rings. Lower quality stone Garnet beads, usually in brown tones, may be made into necklaces or bracelets. The trace minerals making up the nesosilicate compound of Garnet produces an isometric crystal system that adds a vitreous to resinous luster to most red stones. The green variety varies from most red Garnets in part due to inclusions, called horsetail inclusions, which are often present in demantoids from Russia.
Because the Garnet is a family base compound with varying additives to render different colors, the make-up of the vibrantly colored stones is also different. Garnets are usually faceted to show off their brilliance and fire, but can also be found in cabochons which are sometimes faceted from beneath to add radiance and dimension. Garnets were popular during the Civil War era as well as in Victorian and Bohemian jewelry. Both the red and particularly the green varieties of this gemstone were favorites of the famous Russian jeweler Carl Faberge.
Compound : Neosilicates
Mohs Scale(Hardness) : 6.5-7.5
Found : Africa, Canada, Kenya, Madagascar, Siberia, Spain, Tanzania, United States