Everything you need to know about Garnets Gemstone

Garnets come in various hues, including greens, oranges, pinkish oranges, strongly saturated purple reds, and even some blues. Garnets have been around for a long time, but contemporary gem purchasers have various colours from which to choose.

Garnet gemstone


The red kind of garnet is one of the stones that may be found the most often and in the most places. However, contrary to popular belief, not all garnet colours are equally common. For example, Tsavorite is a rarer green garnet because it requires more unusual rock chemistries and circumstances to produce.


Gemstones may be fashioned from almost any hue imaginable because of the presence of a group of minerals known collectively as garnets.

Garnets come in various hues, including greens, oranges, pinkish oranges, strongly saturated purple reds, and even some blues. Garnets have been around for a long time, but contemporary gem purchasers have various colours from which to choose.

Garnet gemstone


One of the most frequent and ubiquitous gems, red garnet may be found in metamorphic rocks (rocks that have been transformed by heat and pressure) worldwide, making it one of the most widespread gems.

However, although red garnets are relatively easy to come by, this is not the case for other gemstone colours. For example, the Tsavorite, a green garnet, may also be found in metamorphic rocks. However, it is far less common since its formation requires peculiar rock chemistries and certain environmental conditions.

Rhodolite is a gorgeous garnet with stunning purple-red colour, while demantoid is a very uncommon and well-known green garnet. Spessartine, which is also known as spessartite, is an orange garnet. Even more rarely, garnets may shift colour like that of the very valuable gemstone alexandrite.

Garnets are distinguished from one another by the chemical composition of their crystal structures despite their same crystal structure. There are over twenty different species of garnet, but only five of them are valuable on the gem market.

Garnets are classified by their colour. These five minerals are pyrope, almandine (also known as almandite), spessartine, and grossular (also known as grossularite).

Andradite. Uvarovite is a kind of green garnet that often appears in crystals that are too tiny to be cut. Jewellery with this material often has clusters of this material put together. Garnets sometimes consist of chemical combinations of two or more kinds of garnet.


Absorption Spectrum Birefringence Formula
See Gem Listings for specific varieties. None A3B2Si3O12. A = Fe, Ca, Mn, Mg. B = Al, Fe, Ti, Cr. See "Identifying Characteristics" below
Birthstone Cleavage Hardness
January None 6.5-7.5
Colours Crystallography Lustre
A very wide range. See "Garnet Varieties" and "Identifying Characteristics" below and listings for specific garnet species and varieties. Isometric. Trapezohedron and dodecahedron forms are common. Cube and octahedron forms are extremely rare. Vitreous, inclining to resinous in grossular, andradite, and some almandines.
Dispersion Etymology Optics
Varies by species, 0.014-0.057. See Gem Listings for specific varieties. From the Latin granatus for "grain." Many garnet deposits are small grains of red crystals in or on their host rock. Isotropic. Some garnets may show anomalous birefringence. See "Identifying Characteristics" below.
Fracture Luminescence Refractive Index
Conchoidal Most varieties are inert. Grossulars can show a variety of fluorescence. Varies by species, 1.72-1.95. See Gem Listings for specific varieties.
Heat Sensitivity Pleochroism Transparency
Some None Transparent to opaque
Luminescence Present Specific Gravity Variety of
Yes 3.40-4.30 (See Gem Listings for specific varieties). Best Known Gemstones
Almandine Garnet, Almandine-Pyrope, Andradite, Andradite-Grossular, Color Change Garnet, Gadolinium Gallium Garnet, Grossular Garnet, Malaia Garnet (Malaya Garnet), Proteus, Pyrope Garnet, Pyrope-Spessartine, Spessartite Garnet, Uvarovite Garnet, Yttrium Aluminium Garnet


The pharaohs of ancient Egypt wore garnet necklaces of the red kind. These necklaces were considered precious belongings for the afterlife and were buried beside the pharaohs' mummified bodies in their tombs.

Stamping the wax that sealed important papers required the use of signet rings in ancient Rome. These rings included carved garnets.

In ancient times, the word "carbuncle" was often used to refer to red garnets; nevertheless, the phrase was also applied to almost every other kind of red stone. For example, it was believed that God had given King Solomon four valuable stones, one of which was a carbuncle.

In the historical period of the Roman scholar Pliny (23 to 79 AD), red garnets were among the most popularly sold jewels in the world. In addition, the red garnet was a popular gemstone among clergy and nobles during the Middle Ages, which lasted roughly from 475 to 1450 AD.

Garnet gemstone


The well-known Bohemian garnet resources were discovered in central Europe in about 1500, which increased the availability of red garnet. This one source would become the cornerstone of a regional jewellery industry that would reach its zenith in the late 1800s.

Unlike minerals such as beryl or corundum, a single species with colourful variants formed by trace elements, Garnets occur in various species and are never found in their pure condition. Garnets may take on a variety of colours as a result of the presence of trace elements.

They are generally found in a matrix of other garnet varieties. Garnet is a part of a series of solids or a mix. Some of these combinations are so unique that they are classified as new types of garnet altogether. However, all garnets have the same crystal structure and corresponding physical characteristics.

Stone Size

Crystals of garnet are typically rather tiny, ranging in size from microscopic to grossular, which may be up to roughly six inches in length. In many cases, deposits form crystals embedded in or resting on the host rock.

There is a possibility that garnets found in rock, which often have less developed exterior features, might be considerably bigger. One such example is the almandine discovered on Gore Mountain in New York, which has a diameter of sixty centimetres.

Garnet gemstone


A few large, transparent, and beautifully coloured spessartites have been found in Brazil. These, however, are quite uncommon. The diameter of a typical garnet crystal ranges from half an inch to an inch.

Stone Care

Garnets may be cleaned using warm water, a little detergent, and a soft bristle brush. However, garnets are heat-sensitive despite being robust stones.

Garnet gemstone


Therefore, try not to use too much heat. Please refer to the relevant species or various articles for more detailed suggestions. Also, please see our Gemstone Care Guide and Jewellery Cleaning Guide for additional information.


What are garnets used for?

Since the Bronze Age, garnets have been used as precious gemstones for jewellery and ornamentation and as abrasives. In addition, garnet may be used as a skid-resistant road aggregate, skid-resistant coatings, and as a filler in concrete that is utilized in tough locations due to its extreme hardness and resistance to deterioration by weathering.

Is garnet a lucky stone?

Throughout history, garnets have been worn as symbols of love, good luck, and prosperous times. In addition, they are thought to possess legendary healing abilities that may stimulate blood circulation, make the skin more luminous, and improve the heart's health.

Can garnet get wet?

Ruby-like in appearance, garnets are chemically and light-resistant. It is possible to use hydrofluoric acid to dissolve them. Garnets should only ever be cleaned in warm, soapy water. Never any other method will do.

Are garnets magnetic?

Only garnets, among all the transparent gemstones commonly available, exhibit a Pick-Up reaction when exposed to an N52 magnet. Due to the greater amounts of paramagnetic iron (up to 35% iron oxide by weight), these transparent diamonds are more magnetic than others.