Garnets

Garnet A Splash Of Color

Garnet is the birth stone for the month of January and most jewelry lovers, choose red garnets for their garnet gem stone jewelry. There are few strong reasons for the popularity of red garnet gems. One interesting fact is that natural red gems have also been highly sought after. Rubies, red spinels and red garnets are good examples of red gem stones that have shown consistently high demand. Red garnet stones score high in terms of price points and related durability.

If you thought that the group of garnet gems had only red to offer, you will be surprised to know that this is not true. Garnets have continued to offer great color and glamour to the world of gems and jewelry. This gem stone can be found in two awesome green colors, one is green tsavorite garnets and green demantoid garnets. If you had to do a price comparison for these 3 types of garnet gems, red garnets would be the most affordable. This will be true even for sizes in the above three carat range. Demantoid garnets are rare and you should be happy if, you can find and buy a good demantoid garnet gem in the 1 carat size category. It is not exactly cheap and sizes beyond 1 carat are hard to find and carry extravagant price tags. The other green garnet namely, tsavorite garnet tells a similar story, small sizes are priced higher than red garnets and large sizes are rare and expensive.

An interesting color variation in this gem can be seen in hessonite garnets. These gems are not very popular but, few gem lovers who have seen them can't resist the temptation to own one. Hessonite garnet gemstones are a yellowish brown color and the red color ting is not present in these garnet gem stones. It is a very interesting color tone if you were looking for a yellowish brown gem and needed a gem that was not opaque. When you choose a hessonite garnet gem, make sure that you do not get the very deep brown variety. These gems show a little yellowish brown shade and are saturated with brown.

In some cases you might find a slight purplish tint in red garnets, lift the gem against a light source and this will become clearer. Such gems are basically garnets but, are referred to as rhodolite garnets. You might at times, see this purple shade in normal light conditions and the gemstone color in this case, will be distinctly different from that of red garnets.

No discussion on garnet stones can conclude without mentioning the stunning orange to reddish orange spessartite garnet. This gem is sometimes called spessartine garnet, do not be confused as both names refer to the same gem stone. The original find of spessartite garnets was in Namibia, the bright orange color of these gems excited both gem lovers and jewelry designers. As expected, prices of spessartite garnet were very high and most jewelry buyers could not afford them. As the Namibian mines were emptied by large gem mining operations, gem manufacturers turned to find other sources for this amazing garnet gem stone. Fortunately, large spessartite garnet gem stone reserves were found in Nigeria. This changed the demand and supply equation in favor of the buyer, prices dropped to sane levels. The same spessartite garnet is sometimes referred to as mandarin garnet, but this generally happens when the color has a reddish shade. If you are buying a spessartite garnet gem, you should be willing to accept some inclusions in the gem. A truck full of spessartite rough can yield a handful of spessartite garnet gems that are eye clean and in the 2 to 3 carat (finished cut stones) weight range. So if you insist on getting a 2 carat or above spessartite garnet in eye clean quality, be prepared to splurge a large dollar amount on the gem stone.

Color gems are obviously treasured for their color. Gem manufacturers have worked hard to find ways in which the color and clarity of gem stones can be enhanced. While the gems and jewelry industry accepts many of these 'treated and enhanced' gems, there is no denying that gems that are left in their natural condition are highly respected. Keeping this in mind, we need to mention that garnets are not treated in any way. As of now, no treatment is given to garnets to increase their color saturation or clarity. This is surely something that will raise your opinion about this wonderful gem.

Now lets discuss something about the durability of garnets and other properties of the gemstone. When you talk about gem stone jewelry there are some simple precautions that you should always follow. Some gems require additional care and luckily garnets do not fall in that category. The hardness of most garnet gemstones is in the 7 to 7.5 range, almost all jewelry applications are therefore open for this stone. Clean your garnet jewelry in luke warm water with a very mild detergent. Thoroughly rinse the jewel after cleaning, this will take off any detergent or chemicals that cling on to the jewel. Most garnet gem stones show good color saturation, and the color is stable. You need not worry about color fading in normal wear and tear situations.