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A Brief Guide to Garnets

A Brief Guide to Garnets

Garnet is a semi-precious gemstone that has been used for centuries in jewellery and other decorative objects. While most commonly thought of as a deep red colour, garnets actually come in various shades, including orange, purple, yellow and green, and many more. Let’s take a look at the different types of garnets available and how to identify them.

Types of Garnets

Garnet is the collective name given to a group of minerals that have similar chemical compositions and crystal structures. There are actually several different types of garnet, each with its own unique characteristics. Let's take a look at some of the most common varieties:

Almandine Garnet

This type of garnet is usually reddish-brown or deep red in colour and has a hardness rating of 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale. It is composed mainly of iron and aluminium silicate (Fe3Al2Si3O12) and can be found all over the world, including Africa, India, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Canada, Australia, Italy, and Russia. Almandine is the most abundant type of garnet and is often used as jewellery due to its attractive colour.

Pyrope Garnet

Pyrope garnet has a deep red hue with flashes of purple or pink when viewed under certain lights. It is usually quite dense with a hardness rating of 7-7.5 on the Mohs scale. Pyrope consists mainly of magnesium aluminium silicate (Mg3Al2Si3O12) and can be found in several countries such as South Africa, Myanmar (Burma), Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Brazil, India, Madagascar, Mexico and the United States. Pyrope is one of the more rare types of garnet but it is also very popular for use in jewellery due to its vibrant coloration.

Spessartite Garnet

Spessartite garnet has an orange-yellow hue with flashes of pink or red when viewed from certain angles under certain lights.It was first discovered near Baden-Württemberg in Germany. It has a hardness rating between 6-7 on the Mohs scale and consists mainly manganese aluminium silicate (Mn3Al2Si3O12). Spessartite can be found primarily in East Africa but also in Brazil, Austria, Czech Republic & Slovakia as well as Norway & Sweden. This type of garnet is particularly interesting because it exhibits chatoyancy which gives it an added lustre not seen in other gemstones. 


Identifying Garnets

If you want to know whether or not your stone is a genuine garnet, there are some key features you should look out for when identifying it. First off, check the hardness; genuine garnets have a Mohs hardness scale rating ranging between 6 and 7 ½ depending on the variety. Take note of any optical phenomena too—many types of garnets can display asterism if cut properly (e.g., with cabochon). Furthermore, remember that all varieties of garnet have very good lustre and shine when polished correctly; if your stone appears dull then it may not be genuine.                                                                                                                                                                                 

Garnets come in many shapes and sizes with a range of colours from pinkish-red to deep purple to golden yellow hues - there's something out there for everyone! Each type has its own unique properties making them ideal for use both as jewellery pieces or even just decorative pieces around your home or office space! Whether you're looking for something subtle or something bright and flashy - there's sure to be a type or two that could fit just about any situation imaginable! Now that you know about some basic information regarding these special gemstones - why not start exploring what’s out there today? With so many options available it’s easy to find a piece that fits your style perfectly!


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