Garnet most closely associated with gemstones of a deep red colour. In fact, the garnet gemstone group boasts over 20 varieties in almost every colour.
Garnets are quite tough and durable, in general, but the hardness depends on the type of garnet. Almandine is the most common form of Garnet, usually opaque and, therefore, unfit for jewellery. However, the less common transparent or translucent versions make superb gemstones.
Pyrope is the blood-red gemstone form of Garnet, with which the term Garnet is most closely associated.
Sources: Garnet is found all over the world, with different types occurring in different locations. Madagascar is a source of several types, along with other African countries. Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, Russia, China, the USA and Canada are all sources of Garnet varieties, as well as several European and Scandinavian countries.
Similar gemstones: Their wide variety of colours means Garnets can be mistaken for other gemstones, while Garnet varieties can also be confused amongst themselves, for example, red Almandine, Rhodolite and Pyrope garnets. Almandine Garnets can be confused with dark-red Spinel or rubellite Tourmaline. Orange Spessartite can be confused with Andalusite, Chrysoberyl, Fire Opal, Hessonite, Sphene and Topaz.
Topaz and Citrine can be very similar to Hessonite, while yellow Topaz, Golden Beryl, and Peridot can look similar to yellow to yellowish-green Grossular. Emerald and green Tourmaline can have the same color as Tsavorite.
Colour palette: The Garnet gemstone group exhibits a huge range of colours, the most famous of which is the deep, blood red Pyrope Garnet. However, in the late 1990s a rare blue Garnet was discovered in Madagascar.
Colour-change Garnets exhibit different colours depending on whether they are viewed in natural or artificial light. Their colour shifts from a light brownish, yellowish or greenish in daylight, to a pink or purplish colour in artificial light. A few rare specimens may even have a bluish color, which is extremely rare for Garnet.
Variety names include:
Rhodolite (rose-red to violet), Spessartite (orange to orange-red), Grossular (varicolored/colourless), Tsavorite (deep green), Hessonite (orange to orange-brown), Demantoid (olive-green to emerald-green), Gooseberry Garnet (light green to light greenish-brown), Hydrogrossular or Hydrogarnet (veined opaque white to light green), Imperial Garnet (light pink), Leuco-garnet (colourless), Mali Garnet (greenish-yellow), Malaya Garnet (reddish-orange), Mandarin Garnet (bright orange to orange-red), Melanite (opaque black or very dark red), Mint Garnet (light mint-green), Mozambique Garnet (red), Raspberry Garnet (raspberry-red), Rosolite (light pink to raspberry-red), Star Garnet (exhibits asterism), Tangerine Garnet is a light orange to orange-yellow Spessartite Garnet.
Topazolite is a yellow to brownish-yellow variety of Andradite Garnet.
More information about the Garnet: Garnet is the Birthstone of January, the 2nd Wedding Anniversary gemstone and associated with eternity, truth and faith.