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Garnet is the birthstone for January and also the stone that celebrates the 2nd and the 6th anniversary of marriage. Garnet is one of the most plentiful stones. There is hardly any other gem that unites such a broad spectrum of color and luster, as well as rarity and size. The variety of colors, from red to orange to yellow, green, brown, violet, pink, or even black gives the person gifted with this birthstome many options.
The different species are pyrope, almandine, spessartine, grossular, uvarovite and andradite. All of these garnet minerals share similar cubic crystal structure and chemical composition. Garnet is best known in a deep red variety but is commonly found in orangy brown and wine red shades. A clear green garnet is called a demantoid and is one of the most expensive gems in existence. A green garnet of over five carats is more rare than an emerald in the same size. The fire, or sparkle, of such a garnet is even higher than that of a diamond, however the brilliance is masked by the color, so a white diamond shows more fire to the eye.
Garnet is one of the few untreated gems. Depending on the variety, quality and size of a garnet pricing can vary from $30 to $5,000 per carat. The red garnet may be mistaken for a ruby, while the yellow type may be mistaken for precious topaz and the green garnet may be mistaken for an emerald.
The Mozambique variety of garnet is quite popular and known for their high quality and the warm, red colors. Mozambique garnet is a mixture of pyrope and almandine garnet, similar in color to the rhodolite garnet, but slightly more red, and darker.
Gem quality garnet occurs in many countries, and beautifully formed crystals have been prized for over 5000 years. Hebrew writers include the garnet as one of the twelve gems in Aaron’s breastplate.