Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Garnet...January Birthstone!

I can't believe I'm doing this but here goes...for this month at least I'm doing my gemstone post at the beginning of the month, instead of at the end or in the next month!

Hope everyone had a wonderful, safe, happy holiday season...may 2009 be joyful and prosperous for all!!

Garnet...this gemstone has always been somewhat mysterious to me...not sure why...just has! When we think of garnet we think of the rich red, pomegranate colored stone...which is where the name comes from...the Latin for "granatum malum", which means pomegranate. In fact the garnet comes in almost every color...

I found garnet referred to as the Garnet Group, due to the fact the stones included have a similiar crystal make up and formed with similar chemical formulation...amongst which are the following stones:

"PYROPE: (Greek - fiery) blood red, frequently with brown tint, popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. Deposits found in Buma, China, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Tanzania and the United States. Also included in this group is Rhodolite, a bright purplish red or rose-color garnet, is viewed as a more superior gem than Pyrope and Almandite.

ALMANDITE: Deep red, red with violet tint, even black...its name was derived from the town in Asia Minor. Deposits found in Brazil, India, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Czech Republic, Austria and the United states.

These are garnets with a violet tint which I have in stock at the moment...deeper color , with visible darker inclusions...with a definite violet cast.

SPESSARTITE: Orange to red-brown...Its name is derived from occurrence in the Soessart(=forest), Germany. Deposits are found in Burma, Brazil, China, Kenya, Madagascaar, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and the United States but the best specimens come from Namibia,("Mandarin Spessartite") which is a bright orange color.

This is red-brown Spessartite Garnet on Quartz Druzy from China...

All three of the following photos are examples of stunning orange Spessartite Quartz on fabulous Smokey Quartz. All gemstones are from China.

The next photo is the Spessartite garnet on Quartz Druzy

GROSSULARTE(Grossular): Colorless, green, yellow, brown...Latin-gooseberry, deposits are found in Canada, Kenya, Mali, Pakistan, Russian (Siberia), Sri Lanka, South Africa, Tanzania and Vermont. Also includes Hessonite, Leuco garnet, Hydrogrossular and Tsavorite.

Hessonite: also called cimmamon stone and Kaneel stone...brown-orange to brown-yellow . Deposits found in Sri Lanka, Brazil, India, Canada, Madagascar, Tanzania and the United States.

Leuco garnet: Colorless...deposits found in Canada, Mexico and Tanzania.

Hydrogrossular: (also falsely called Transvall jade and garnet jade) Dense, translucent to opaque gooseberry-greenish color. Pink hydrogrossular garnet can also be well black inclusions are common. Deposits are in South Africa, Burma, and Zambia.

This Grossular Garnet specimen is from Sierra Del Cruce in Cohuila, Mexico. This specimen exhibits pretty "raspberry" Grossular Garnets in Wollastinite Matrix.

These are garnets with a pink cast to them which I have in stock at the moment...not the deep blood red color...lighter more translucent.

Tsavorite: (Tscvgsavolite) Lime green to emerald green. from Kenya and Tanzania; discovered in the early 1970s.

ANDRADITE: named after a Protuguese mineralogist...varieties include the following...

Demantiod: the most valuable garnet(name means "diamond-like luster") to emerald green. Deposits found in China, Korea, Russian, United States and Zaire.

Melanite: Opaque black variety, (Greek-black). Deposits are in Germany (Kaiserstuhl/Baden-Wurttember), France, Italy and Colorado. Used for mourning jewelry.

Topazolite: Yellow to lemon yellow, topaz-like(therefore the name). Deposits found in Switzerland, the Italian Alps and California.

UVAROVITE: Emerald-green. Named after a Russian statesman, Rarely occurs in gemstone quality. Deposits found in Finland, India, Canada, Poland, Russian (the Urals) and California.

Finally we have "color change garnet" these garnets can appear green-blue in daylight (fluorescent light) and magenta-red in incandescent ( artificial )light. Others change from red-purple to yellow-red. The stones are a mix of pryope and spessaritite garnet and are very rare!!" The rarest of them all, discovered in the late 1990's is the "blue garnet", found in Bekily, Madagascar".
Excerpts courtesy of: The Jewelers"s Directory of Gemstones and Gemstones of the World, with the info regarding the blue garnet from

It is amazing all the different garnets available...I was very surprised when I read this information!

As an added feature I would like to introduce the healing aspects of gemstones, it is something I've become interested in due to customers asking questions...when I don't know the answer I always like to do research and be ready the next time someone asks me a similar question!

Garnet is recommended as a helpful stone for heart trouble and inflammation...I have arthritis and other inflammation so I just might make myself something with garnet!

There are so many different minerals in the Garnet Group each one will have it's own specific property but to summarize here is a great explanation...a direct
quote from the following booklet which I received in the mail today "The Care and Use of Crystals for Healing by Valerie Smith" from Peaceful Arts For Your Mind, Body & Spirit website.
This great booklet was sent to me by a friend...and I thank her! The quote is as follows...

"uplifting energy causing acceptance and balance of current life - inspires love and devotion - brings courage to seemingly hopeless circumstances - helps one to release old and sabotaging behavior patterns - bestows self-esteem"

Great information...I have a couple of interesting detailed books on healing properties, etc., but this booklet is straight to the point without being technical...Valerie's booklet also states:
"The information in this booklet is not meant to diagnose or replace medical advice. As always use your discretion when seeking help for any medical condition"...
Thank you Valerie.

There you have always I hope you learned something new and interesting as well as enjoyed the stunning photos taken by OJ...

Information References:
  • A heartfelt thank you to Orbital Joe, for allowing me to use his absolutely stunning garnet photos in this on each photo to be taken to the origin photo...thank you OJ!!!
  • Gemstones of the World, Walter Schumann, Third Edition, Sterling Publishing Co. Inc.
  • The Jeweler's Directory of Gemstones, Judith Crowe, Firefly Books, 2006
  • "The Care and Use of Crystals for Healing by Valerie Smith"


  1. Happy New Year my friend!!!

    I have a beautiful garnet necklace I often wear. My son found the raw garnet in NC-gem mining- and we had a jeweler cut it. It is a beautiful stone.

    Many good wishes to you...

  2. A very beautiful blog with so much importance does the stones hold . i never believed this much magic can happen from precious stones

  3. Importance of precious stones on human has a greater influence , well written on those stones importance

  4. Wow that is awesome and garnet happens to be my dad's birthstone. Your blog is beautiful too.

  5. I love your birthstone posts! I look forward to them every month and this was another delightful read!

  6. Wow, the stones are so beautiful in their natural form. (I tagged you on my blog today

  7. Those garnets are beautiful. I had no idea that they came in different colors. I think this is the first time I visited your blog. You have a lot of great information here. I look forward to reading more!

  8. I absolutely LOVE seeing and photographing mineral specimens. These are GORGEOUS!

    Those times when I've been lucky enough to visit a mineral and gem display, I was much too busy shooting to take notes. It breaks the momentum for me. But I probably should do it anyway, so I can share the information.

    This is my first visit here, and I enjoyed your post!


Thank you for taking the time to is truly appreciated!