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Stone of the month: January Garnets

January is garnet month, and what a gorgeous stone to kick off the new year! Garnet is possibly most recognised as a red, ruby-like semi-precious stone. However, many people don't realise that garnet actually comes in a wide range of colours, some more common and affordable and others quite rare and pricey.

Garnet is actually a mineral supergroup. There are many different varieties with different chemical compositions. Due to the differences in the composition of each type, garnet comes with a hardness range of 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale, which measures the hardness of gemstones.

Garnets can be broken down into primary species. Each species may have a range of colours and varieties, and some species will combine with other species to create blends. This is what makes garnet such a fascinating stone. Due to the blending of species, no garnet is 100% pure and will always contain some elements of another species. The table below helps to explain this breakdown of species, varieties, and blends.

Primary Species  Colour
Andradite Green, yellow, brown, brownish red, black
Almandine Red to reddish brown
Grossular Almost every colour including clear except rarely ever dark or red
Pyrope Very dark red
Spessartite Reddish brown to pure orange
Uvarovite Vibrant dark green



 Almandine garnet rough  Andradite garnet roughSpessartite garnet rough

Images left to right: Almandine garnet, Andradite garnet, Spessartite garnet

Uvarovite garnet druzy roughHessonite Garnet RoughDemantoid Garnet Rough

Images left to right: Uvarovite garnet, Hessonite garnet, Demantoid garnet


 Varieties Colour Origins
Hessonite Orange to yellow, cinnamon Variety of Grossular
Tsavorite Vibrant dark green Variety of Grossular
Demantoid Bright grass green Variety of Andradite
Melanite Black Variety of Andradite
Topazolite Yellow Variety of Andradite




Mali Garnet roughRhodolite garnet roughTsavorite garnet rough

Images left to right: Mali garnet, Rhodolite garnet, Tsavorite garnet


 Blends Colour Origins
Common Red Shades of red to red-brown Blend of Almandine/Pyrope
Rhodolite Pink, purple, magenta Blend of Almandine/Pyrope
Mali Green, yellow, gold, brown Blend of Grossular/Andradite
Malaya Rose, orange pink, peach,  Blend of Pyrope/Almandine/Spessartite
Mandarin Pure vibrant orange Blend of Pyrope/Grossular/Spessartite


Mandarin garnet

Mandarin garnet in a faceted stone

As you can see from those hopefully helpful tables, the world of garnets is vast, exciting and colourful. So much more than just a common, inexpensive, semi-precious red stone. 

Historically, garnet has been treasured as a protective tasliman for hundreds of years. Naturally, as each variety of garnet has a unique chemical makeup, they also have unique metaphysical properties. Here is yet another helpful table to allow you to see the metaphysical attributed to each species, at a glance.

 Species Properties
Almandine Psychic protection, strength, protection, love and relationships
Andradite Strength, safety, attracts love, self-empowerment
Grossular Nurturing energy, hope, prosperity, abundance, gratitude
Pyrope Inspiration and creativity
Spessartite Energy, confidence, creativity
Uvarovite Prosperity, wealth, joy, peace, calm, serenity


So happy birthday to all of you who were born in January. I hope this blog has allowed you to see your birthstone in a whole new, exciting light. Stay tuned for the February installment of the birthstone series where we will talk about the much loved and ever popular Amethyst. 

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