January's Amazing Garnet Birthstone

So many January babies say "UGH!" I hate my birthstone but January's birthstone, garnet, is truly amazing!  There are so many varieties of garnet and one of them is more rare and valuable than diamond.  WHAT?!?!?!  It's true.  OK, let's back up and start from the beginning....

Garnet is a family name.  Think of birds... birds come in many visual color patterns but they're all birds.  Any gemstone is what it is because of it's chemistry, but they don't necessarily LOOK alike.  It took the advance of science to be able to accurately identify gemstones.  Before that, gem dealers relied on the scratch test.  I digress....back to garnets more about the scratch test in another blog.

So, garnets are found around the world and depending on "secondary modifying" agents the colors will vary.  There's the typical brick brown red that isn't particularly well liked but there's also a beautiful vibrant red with purple undertones named rhodolite garnet.  There's an equally beautiful yellow, an orange, and three different green garnets.  One of the green garnets is demantoid garnet...a gem quality large specimen is more rare and valuable than diamond.  Because demantoid has the same sparkle factor (refractive index) as diamond, for many decades it was mistakenly identified as green diamond.

January 06, 2017 9 tags (show)