Learn All About January's Birthstone: Garnet
The New Year brings with it an exciting new birthstone! January's Birthstone is one we are very familiar with here at Augustine Jewels: it's Garnet! Featuring heavily in a lot of our Andalusian Collection, as well as in a few of our bespoke commissions, we're keen to share our vast knowledge with you all! We sat down with Alexandra, our Founder, and picked her brain to find out some more information about this dazzling gemstone for you all!
Can you tell me what a 'Garnet' actually is?
Certainly, garnet is a group of silicate minerals. They have been used in jewellery since the Bronze Age! All species of garnets possess similar physical properties and crystal forms, but differ in chemical composition.
What gives Garnets their unique colour?
Garnets can be split into two main groups. The red gemstones are known as pyralpites and their colour is determined by the presence of iron, examples of this are hessonite or almandine. The other group, known as urgandite, consists of the vibrant green garnets like tsavorite or yellowy orange garnets like spessartine.
What type of Garnet is the most rare?
The rarest form of garnet is actually Tsavorite! The largest Tsavorite on record is valued at around $2 million. Demantoid Garnets are also considered one of the rarest forms of garnet!
An Example of a Tsavorite and it's bright green colouring.
Do you know where the name 'Garnet' comes from?
The word garnet comes from the 14th-century Middle English word gernet, which means 'dark red'. It is borrowed from the Latin granatus which means grain or seed, possibly a reference to the pomegranate, a fruit whose seeds bare a resemblance to the colouring of garnet!
Where do Garnets come from?
Garnets are found all over the world. For example, Kenya is home to the Scorpion mine that is world-renowned for its tsavorite garnets. However, a lot of the red coloured Garnets are found in Asian countries, like India and Sri Lanka.
Which Augustine Jewels Garnet piece is your favourite?
We recently made a bespoke design variation of our Como Cluster Necklace featuring a Garnet, Ruby and Pink Tourmaline.
We really love the design and it's wonderful to see it invigorated with a different stone combination - if you're interested in working on a bespoke project like this, do reach out to us via our Bespoke Page.