The name Garnet derives from the Latin “ granatus ” (grain or seed) for the round shape of the rough buds and for the resemblance to the red seeds of the pomegranate. However, it should be emphasized that there are actually many colors of this mineral and that, if observed under a microscope, its crystals appear more cubic than round.

The best known variety of Garnet is certainly the red or reddish one (Mozambique Garnet, Rhodolite). Protagonist of many ancient tales, in Greek mythology it is mentioned in the episode of the abduction of Persephone in Hades, while in the Jewish and Muslim tradition it is its splendor that is praised. However, the Red Garnet was not only mentioned in ancient legends, but also worked and cut as a precious gem. Already the Vikings used jewels with garnets as funerary ornaments to illuminate the path to Walhalla for the dead, while the crusaders decorated their armor with this gem to gain more courage in battle. But it is in the XVIII. and in the nineteenth. century that the garnet was particularly loved and in demand, especially the Bohemian garnet.

Despite the similar crystalline structure, the presence of some metals (manganese, calcium, etc.) allows the formation of a disparate range of different colors, from purple to chocolate, to green, yellow, pink and red, for a total of well thirty-eight different types of Garnet.

Garnet Mozambique takes its name from the East African country from which it comes and, thanks to its beloved warm hue, reminiscent of a Ruby, it can be considered the classic variant of Garnet. Malaya Garnet is mined in a single location around the world – in East Africa, where it was also discovered. The African beauty displays a deep orange, sometimes with bright pink undertones. Unfortunately, this variety has been underestimated for a long time, causing buyers to lose interest. A disinterest that is also reflected in his own name: “Malaya”, in the Swahili language, in fact means “marginalized”. It wasn’t until the 1970s that this feminine beauty was first mounted on a pendant and since then the Malaya Garnet has acquired a role in the American gemstone market.

Rhodolite, mined in Tanzania, Sri Lanka and India, also displays a wonderful red. Discovered in 1882 by George Frederick Kunz in North Carolina, it was named for its resemblance to the colors of the mountain rhododendron: a splendid blend of bright pink, red and purple.

The new Raspberry Rhodolite from Tanzania displays equally beautiful red tones, to be nicknamed “the queen of garnets”. Surely it is the most precious variety of Rhodolite available on the market today.

Red-orange shades instead characterize the Spessartina, a variety of garnet so called for the place where it was first extracted, Spessart, in Bavaria. After its discovery in the nineteenth. century was mined shortly after also in Virginia and subsequently in Australia, Brazil, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Zambia and Nigeria.

Essonite, a garnet of an intense golden honey color, has a similar brilliance. Very rare in eye-clean quality, the characteristic inclusions nevertheless give it a magical caramel or cinnamon appearance, much loved by the ancient Indians, Greeks and Romans. Essonite is normally mined in India, but some beautiful specimens have also been found in Tanzania.

Alongside the popular red and orange colors, there are also garnets with green shades. The deep green Demantoid was discovered (1849) and named (1855) by Dr. Nordenskjöld, the one who first spotted Alexandrite

The original source was in the Ural Mountains, but the Demantoid Ambanja specimens you find from Juwelo come from Madagascar. This variety of Garnet owes its color to chromium and / or iron and each deposit produces different shades of green from each other.

Another green wonder is the Tsavorite, discovered by Campbell R. Bridges and named in reference to the Tsavo National Park in Kenya, although specimens have also been extracted in Tanzania. The Tsavorite is also called “the king of the Garnets”, a title that appears appropriate at first glance. Tsavorite is often compared to the Emerald or confused with it, although much rarer than the famous green Beryl.

Among the garnets with particular optical effects we can mention the Changeling Garnet from Tanzania and Madagascar and the Kamtonga Iridescent Garnet from Kenya. Discovered in the 1970s, these specimens are extracted in Umba-Tal (Tanzania), Bekyily (southern Madagascar) and in the vicinity of Kamtonga, Kenya. The typical color change in these garnets is from blue green to purple red and from khaki green to orange red and is caused by the high percentage of Among the garnets with particular optical effects we can mention the Changeling Garnet from Tanzania and Madagascar and the Kamtonga Iridescent Garnet from Kenya. Discovered in the 1970s, these specimens are mined in Umba-Tal (Tanzania), Bekyily (southern Madagascar) and in the vicinity of Kamtonga, Kenya. The typical color change in these garnets is from blue green to purple red and from khaki green to orange red and is caused by the high percentage of vanadium; sometimes, however, it is the bond of chromium, magnesium, manganese and iron that is responsible for the change. Unfortunately, these Garnets with optical effects are only available in small sizes, but this does not spoil the magic of their spell.

• How to care for jewels with Garnet

The Garnet varieties cannot be subjected to extreme temperatures, which would damage the gem.

Title

Go to Top