Garnet Jewelry: Everything You Need to Know

What is a Garnet

A glass of pomegranate juice next to a plate of pomegranates

Many assume garnets are just one gemstone, but they're actually a family of rock species. 

The name garnet comes from the word "garantus," which is Latin for seedlike, a nod to its pomegranate seed size and texture. 

Garnets can claim to be in true Boho style as they were popularized by the Europeans in the 16th century after they found a large deposit in then Bohemia, now the Czech Republic. Later, garnets became a Victorian era staple and were especially popular in Old Spain. Today, many fashion accessories incorporate garnets, and it's commonly believed that garnets possess healing energy. 

Types of Garnets

There are several dozen types of garnets, but five stand out as the most commercially popular. Keep reading to learn more about each one. 

Grossular Garnet 

This type of garnet is marked by its distinctive light green hue. However, it's one in the garnet family that can be found in various other colors as well. 

Almandine 

The most popular garnet, this type of gemstone usually wears its traditional rich red and purplish tone. 

Demantoid

This is one of the rarer garnets, and its green tone is reminiscent of both emeralds and its close cousin, the grossular garnet. 

Spessartine 

Bold orange with hints of other warm colors is standard for this garnet. It's considered a rarity, and this gem's actually a blend of different minerals. 

Pyrope

Another popular garnet, this one is a light, clean gem with brownish tints. 

Related: When Diamonds Become Popular

What Sets Garnet Apart 

Garnet is the birthstone for January, and traditionally, these gems have been seen as a symbol of love and associated with friendship. 

Unlike other minerals, such as calcite or quartz, garnets are considered especially hard. In jeweler's terms, hardness only refers to the stone's proclivity to scratching. Hardness is determined by the Mohs scale, invented by geologist Frederic Mohs in the 19th century. With ten being the most resistant and 1 being the least resistant, garnets are usually 6.5 to 7.5. However, not all garnets are equal and almandine garnet, for example, is considerably harder than other types of the same gemstone. Lastly, compared to diamonds, garnets are relatively soft. 

Want to see all the gems out there? Check out LacKore Couture's latest arrivals!

How to Tell a Garnet from a Ruby

Both red and beautiful, garnets are often confused with rubies. However, there are a few key differences between the two. Compared to rubies, garnets are typically a different color, have a lower price point, and reflect light differently. We'll explain more about each characteristic below. 

Color: While rubies are a lighter, brighter red, garnets are an unmistakably deep, intense red. Another key point on the color is that rubies can only be red, while garnets can come in a range of colors. 

Price: The nice thing about garnets is that they can make an inexpensive alternative to rubies. A carat of garnet can be as low as $100 or as high as $5,000 per carat. However, most garnets are a few hundred dollars per carat. In contrast, rubies are considerably more expensive and seldom retail for under $1,000 per carat. 

Light: If you're ever in doubt, all you need to do is hold the gem in question up to a light source. If there are yellow and gold bands present when you look at the stone under a light, then it's garnet and not a ruby. 

Related: The Most Stunning Ruby Ring Designs for Men

Types of Garnet Cuts

Star Cut

This cut gives the stone fully defined edges. The star cut is perfect for small stones paired together to create a constellation of the gems. 

Diamond Cut

Diamond cuts are considered superior cuts for garnets because they give the most intimate view into the intricacies of the stone. Therefore, this cut should be reserved for only the highest quality garnets. 

Checkerboard

Checkboard cuts let all the facets of the gem shine. It's ideal for round or oval garnets and ensures every stone angle can be seen and appreciated. 

Cabochon

This is an incredibly smooth, round cut that offers a fully transparent look into the stone. This renders a softer feel to the stone and works well on garnets that do not have an inclusion.

Related: The Differences Between the Round Brilliant Cut and the Old European Cut

 

An array of gemstones in jewelry.

Ways You Can Wear Garnet Jewelry

If you're indecisive when it comes to jewelry, you're in luck when it comes to garnets. These gemstones can work as almost any accessory, including earrings, necklaces, rings, and much more. Most garnets command attention due to their can't-miss red hue. As such, it's best to pair these gemstones with other lighter colors that'll let the garnet shine. 

Taking Care of Your Garnet

Fortunately, garnets are pretty easy to handle regarding standard jewelry care and maintenance. Here are some tips for keeping your garnets shining for years to come. 

  • Clean garnets by carefully washing them with warm, soapy water. 
  • Use a soft cloth to wipe your garnet jewelry to avoid scratching or blemishing it.
  • Avoid heat treating your garnets as high temperatures can damage these stones.
  • Garnets are fairly durable but still should be treated and worn carefully. 

 

A garnet ring inside a rose

Explore All the Jewels

Garnets are great, but there's a plethora of other jewelry out there just waiting to be worn. LaCkore Couture has the right gemstone for every occasion, and it's all made by hand and with love. 

Can’t wait to get your hands on some hand-crafted jewelry? See LaCkore Couture's extensive selection!