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Garnet Varieties


Although red is the color we most readily associate with the garnet, it actually comes in many colors – more than any other gem. Almadines and pyropes are red garnets while spessarites or Mandarin garnets are orange. The grossular or gooseberry garnet can be colorless, yellow, green, or pink. Hessonite is an orange garnet while anadrite is gold. There is even a rainbow garnet that lives up to its name. Tsavorite is a green garnet as is the very rare and beautiful demantoid, which was said to be a favorite of the Russian jeweler, Carl Fabergé. It was only in the late 1990s that a blue garnet – previously thought to be non-existent – was discovered in Madagascar. It has since been found in Turkey, Russia and the United States.

Speaking of the United States, the garnet is a fairly wide spread commodity, mined in many states. For instance, Arizona produces a fine quality gem garnet, while California is the source of the best spessarite, and Utah is the source of some lovely grossular. In 1991, in Amelia County, Virginia, the Rutherford Lady, a garnet weighing 2800 carats was unearthed. Idaho ranks with the nation of India as the world's largest producer of 'star' garnets. The star garnet is rare and unique in that its color changes depending on whether it's viewed during the day or night.

Industrial garnets made their first appearance in the United States in 1866 in upstate New York. Henry Hudson Barton, of Barton Quarries, devised a way to use the garnet for sandpaper. The garnet has since gone on to be used in sand blasting and water jetting.

Next: History and Use of Garnet Gemstones


Trillion-Cut Garnet and Diamond Earrings Garnet and Diamond Ring, 14K White Gold Garnet and Diamond Ring, 10K White Gold
Trillion-Cut Garnet and Diamond Earrings Garnet and Diamond Ring, 14K White Gold Garnet and Diamond Ring, 10K White Gold


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