Saturday, January 1, 2011

Red Garnet: January's Birthstone

Garnets were a favorite gemstone of the Victorians who especially enjoyed their dark red color. Other stones, such as rubies and red spinels have beautiful reds, but at a price. Garnets have served a very versatile place in jewelry through the years in cost, cut and color. It is a bit softer than the other red stones, allowing interesting and unique cuts, from traditional round, oval, baguette and emerald cuts to cabochons, hearts and birds. Bohemian cut garnets (and garnet glass as well), which is cut a bit rough like old rose cut diamonds, are often clustered in groups making a fantastic display.
Bohemian Garnet Bar Pin $95.00
Color-wise, there are four groups of garnet. The dark red stones (often called carbuncles, rhodolite or Bohemian) are the ones we normally recognize as garnets. But there are garnets that are yellowish-brown-red (hessonite or spessartine), colorless (which are usually synthetic, such as YAG or GAG gemstones), and green (tsavrite and the spectacular demantoid garnets). The photo below, from Keith Wallis' excellent book, Gemstones, shows the variety of colors of this versatile gem.
Red garnet is the January birthstone on pretty much all the birthstone charts. We have a nice selection of garnet jewelry, from bracelets to pendants, rings and brooches. Happy Birthday January!
Victorian Garnet Bar Pins ($65.00 to $125.00)
Bohemian Garnet and Garnet Glass Brooches ($65.00 to $195.00)
Garnet Rings, Earrings and Pendants ($65.00 to $295.00)

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