2nd anniversary gemstone: Garnet
All you January babies out there have garnet as your birthstone, but did you know that garnet is also the 2nd anniversary gemstone?
Garnet is an interesting gemstone because it isn’t a gemstone at all – it’s many gemstones! The name garnet encompasses six different minerals (almandine, andradite, grossular, pyrope, spessartine and uvarovite) and several varieties of these six, some commonly occurring and others very rare.
Let’s take a look at some of those rarer types for your extra special 2nd anniversary gemstone.
Demantoid garnet is a rich green type of andradite with a colour, fire and brilliance that rivals emerald and diamond. One of the most valuable gemstones, let alone garnets, the most coveted demantoid is found in Russia. This Russian demantoid garnet often contains wavy strands of byssolite or chrysotile – otherwise known as ‘horsetail’ inclusions. Whereas inclusions usually make a gemstone less valuable, these horsetail inclusions make demantoid garnet more desirable and therefore more expensive.
Tsavorite garnet is another intensely green garnet, this time of the grossular type. Tsavorite gets its bluish green colour from the presence of chromium. Tsavorite is a relatively recently discovered gem, first found around the border of Tanzania and Kenya in the 1960s. To date, this is the only location in which Tsavorite garnet is mined. Tsavorite garnets are usually small, and stones over 2 carats are very rare.
Colour change garnet
Colour change garnet is a rare hybrid of spessartite and pyrope garnet. There are several colour change combinations possible, but the change that most occurs in this rare variety of garnet is brown/orange in daylight to rose pink in incandescent light. Though garnet is said to occur in every colour except blue, this is not quite true of colour change garnets. Some garnets from Madagascar and Tanzania appear red in daylight but blue under incandescent light. To truly appreciate a colour change garnet, the gemstone should be viewed in different lighting conditions, including early morning daylight, late afternoon daylight, incandescent light, fluorescent light and candlelight.
Kim Rix GG GIA, Author, Speaker
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