A Family of Colors... When most people think garnet, they see only images of a dark red gemstone. But look a little deeper into garnet’s many varieties, and you’ll discover every color of the rainbow except blue. Few gems can rival garnet in the diversity of colors available. The green of summer grass, the gold of freshly harvested wheat, the orange of fiery hot steel, the pink of a delicate rosebud – garnet offers all these colors and more.
Garnet’s popularity dates back more than 5,000 years to ancient Egypt, where the gems were worked into beads or set into hand wrought jewelry. Jewelry set with dark red garnets from Czechoslovakia was extremely popular in the nineteenth century. Pieces set with these Bohemian garnets are still in high demand today for their beauty and uniqueness. Today’s gemstone collector knows that garnet offers a myriad of color choices in every shade imaginable, except blue.
Garnet is the birthstone for January.
Garnets are mined in many locales around the world. Some of its more important sources include Africa, Australia, Brazil, India, Madagascar, Russia, Sri Lanka and the United States.
There are no treatments commonly used to enhance garnet.
Garnet is both hard and durable. Garnet can be cleaned using an ultrasonic cleaning machine, any commercial jewelry cleaner or plain soap and water using a soft brush. Be sure to rinse and dry your jewelry thoroughly after cleaning.
Photo: Robert Weldon, Copyright Professional Jeweler Magazine
Editors Note: This article is © 2002-2014 Jewelers of America Inc.