January Birthstone - A Garnet In Every Color
inJanuary 27, 2012 - 12:38pm
Dark red Garnets are the gems that we have come to associate with the January Birthstone. We are comfortable with these traditional colors, just like we would be comfortable around the glow of the embers in a fireplace on these January days. But Garnet can be so much more!
How about some lovely lilacs, perhaps some shades of pinkish violet similar to the flowering Rhododendron of the coming spring? Try Rhodolite Garnet. This Garnet is actually a blend of the two traditional red garnets, Almandine Garnet and Pyrope Garnet. The great spring color might just carry you through until Spring.
When Spring gets here, you can have a green Garnet to wear. Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day, too. If the dark green of Tsavorite Garnet does not suit you, you may prefer the brighter and lighter green of Demantoid Garnet. The Demantoid Garnet is rather rare, and some of the best ones are found in Antique Russian jewelry of the late 19th century. Some new finds of this material, in Africa, have made some newer material available. Tsavorite Garnet, only marketed since the 1970s, is a new “classic”, and is used in a wide range of jewelry pieces and price ranges. Less prone to chipping and cracking than Emerald, and available for far less than a fine Emerald, a Green Tsavorite is a great addition to any jewel box.
Uvarovite Garnet also shows some great green colors, but the crystals are rather small for most jewelry uses, and a mineral specimen is more likely than a jewelry item featuring this rare Garnet. Hydrogrossular Garnet also comes in a green color, with an opaque body that resembles Jade. The stone is actually misrepresented some time as African Jade. It can be an attractive gem stone, one worthy of its own identity, so wear it proudly, as the Garnet it actually is.
Spessartite Garnet and Hessionite Garnet offer some red-orange and yellowish tints not seen in the more traditional red Garnets. These gems have been around for a while, so they can be found in vintage and antique pieces. Malaya Garnet, a blend of a number of other Garnets, also offers some unique color in these ranges.
Blue Garnets are now starting to enter the jewelry market. For years, the only truism about Garnets was that ‘they come in every color except blue.” Recent finds in Africa shattered that statement.
As we move towards Spring, you will be able to find a range of garnets available that will be as colorful as any Easter Basket. And , for those willing to spend the money, some phenomenal Garnets are available. Star Garnets, that exhibit a star with 4 or 6 rays radiating out from the center of the stone, are known, many produced in the United States. Garnets that exhibit a color change, similar to fine Alexandrite, have also been found.
Garnets are a durable stone, and hold up well to regular wear. We are unaware of any treatments being used to improve or alter the appearance of any Garnets. Normal jewelry hand-cleaning methods are fine, and we discourage the use of ultrasonic cleaning methods, or steam cleaning. These methods may damage some Garnets, especially those with natural inclusions.
Featured in a wide range of colors, a wide range of prices, and in Antique, Vintage and Artisan Jewelry pieces, we are sure that you will find the Garnet that appeals to you on Ruby Lane.