Birthstone month: January
Color: Red, orange, pinkish orange, purplish red, green, gray, black, blue
Moh's Hardness: 6.5-7.5
Transparency: Transparent to semi-translucent (there are opaque varieties, though these are generally not considered gem quality)
Garnet is a transparent to semi-translucent gemstone that comes in a wide range of colors, though it's most recognizable as a dark, brownish red. Rather than being a single, cohesive mineral, the garnet family is actually comprised of several types of closely related minerals.
Red garnets are the most recognizable of their family, but color variations include orange, pinkish orange, purplish red, green, gray, black, and even blue! The garnet family includes six major varieties:
Almandine - the most common form of garnet, though gem-quality almandine is rather rare
Andradite - includes green Demantoid, yellow Topazolite, and black Melanite varieties
Grossular - includes a variety of different colors of garnet, including the brilliant green Tsavorite and yellow to yellow-green Hessonite
Pyrope - the classic dark-red garnet. In large gemstones this color leans to almost black
Spessartite - is the orange to orange-red type of garnet
Uvaroite - the most rare garnet, and is often too small to even facet
Rhodolite garnets, which are a more purple-tinged, raspberry red, fall somewhere between Pyrope and Almandine. This lovely little hexagon specimen is one that I bought from Osiris Gems.
Garnet is the traditional birthstone for January, and is also the gemstone for second anniversaries! Because it is a fairly hard gemstone, it's an affordable way to add color to your everyday jewelry wardrobe.
Garnet Gemstone | Garnet Stone – GIA, www.gia.edu/garnet.
“Minerals.net.” Garnet: The Gemstone Garnet Information and Pictures, www.minerals.net/gemstone/garnet_gemstone.aspx.
“Pyrope Garnet Gemstone Information.” Buy Gemstones: Semi Precious & Precious Stones, Natural Gems at Wholesale; GemSelect, https://www.gemselect.com/gem-info/pyrope-garnet/pyrope-garnet-info.php.
“Uvarovite Garnet.” Buy Gemstones: Semi Precious & Precious Stones, Natural Gems at Wholesale; GemSelect, www.gemselect.com/other-info/uvarovite-garnet.php.