With its vibrant deep color and vintage feel, garnet jewelry is very popular. But if you plan on buying a couple of garnet pieces, there are some interesting things you should know. We have prepared a comprehensive garnet jewelry buying guide for you in which we included a couple of fun facts about garnet. If you want to find out how old this stone is or why it can be more expensive than a diamond, read further. Buying precious & semi precious stones jewelry becomes very easy after you read our guides.

What is garnet?

As opposed to many gemstones, garnets don’t contain a single mineral, but a whole group of them. These minerals come in different colors and chemical compositions, thus creating an interesting array of colors for garnets.

Here’s the first interesting fact about garnet – it is believed to be the oldest gemstone ever used in history. In the past, people would use garnets as talismans. If you are thinking about the Ancient Greeks and Egyptians, think even further back in history. Archaeological discoveries found garnet in jewelry and objects dating from the Bronze Age! Speaking of durable gemstones, right? In case you were wondering, garnet can reach 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, which is a very good score.

How many garnet varieties are there?

A lot! We will not bore you with their names but you should know that, according to the chemical compositions, there are six varieties on garnet. Also, according to their color of special qualities, there are eleven more varieties.

Yes, you thought garnets were only red but, in fact, they can have surprising colors. Which leads us to garnet jewelry costing more than diamonds sometimes. The red varieties of garnet, including reddish brown and orange and the least expensive ones. However, there are also green, yellow and black varieties of garnet and last, but not least, the most expensive of them all. The mysterious blue garnet. The blue garnet is the fourth rarest gemstone in the world and its price per carat can reach up to $1.5 million. When we compare it to an average price of $6,000 per carat for diamonds, we can have a clear view of just how rare and valuable blue garnet is.

How to buy garnet jewelry

We know you are still thinking about the blue garnet, but, even if you can afford it, chances are you’ll only find it at an auction. So let’s talk about the red varieties instead and see what you need to assess when buying garnet jewelry. As with most precious and semi-precious stones, garnet jewelry is all about the color, cut, and clarity.

Garnet’s color

Yes, blue garnets are stunning, can we move past that? When buying garnet jewelry, this gemstone’s color is the most important pricing factor. Although it comes in a great variety of colors, vivid red and burgundy garnets tend to be the most expensive ones due to their gorgeous colors. Deep green garnets cost even more, but they are also rarer. The other varieties, like reddish brown, orange or brown are significantly cheaper.

Garnet’s clarity

As if this gemstone wasn’t already amazing, hear this. Most garnet jewelry displays a very good clarity because this semi-precious stone rarely has inclusions. This is especially true for the deep red variety. However, orange garnet jewelry, for example, will have a lower clarity. Sometimes, though, this can become a great feature of garnet as its inclusions form a star effect that makes it look gorgeous.

 Garnet’s cut

When buying garnet jewelry, take a close look at the cut as well. Usually, the cut has the purpose to maximize light refraction and thus enhance the brilliance of the stone. If, however, you are buying rare garnet jewelry, like green garnet, the cut will be custom to help the stone retain its carat weight.

Last, but not least, you should never worry about your garnet jewelry being treated. That never happens. This amazing gemstone makes it impossible for heat or irradiation treatments to have any effect on it. As a result, any garnet you buy has a 100% natural color.

Garnet jewelry vs. Rubies

Sometimes, garnets are identical to rubies so it’s hard to tell them apart. There are a couple of methods of assessing this gemstone, like looking for double refraction within the gemstone or verifying its hardness score. However, if you are unsure about it, we recommend seeking professional advice as it can get difficult to tell apart garnet jewelry from ruby pieces.

This is everything you need to know about garnet jewelry. Oh, one more thing. If you know somebody whose birthday is in January, offer them a piece of garnet jewelry. This is the birthstone for January. If you want to read more about birthstones or jewelry in general, check out our other articles as well.

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Ruxandra is a fashion blogger who teaches fashion stumped twenty to thirty somethings how to shop their jewelry boxes for polished new ensembles. Her work has been featured in Vogue, Fashionista, Nylon, and Refinery29.