What is a Garnet
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.
HISTORY OF GARNET JEWELRY
Garnets have a fascinating history and have been used in jewelry since the bronze age. These gems are extremely durable, so remnants of jewelry made with garnet have been found by archeologists from several early civilizations.
Every major civilization seems to have found a place for garnets in their jewelry. The Egyptians even revered it as a symbol of life, and this gemstone was used by warriors as a protection talisman in several cultures.
Ancient Romans often used garnets as signet rings, and this gemstone became a symbol of nobility throughout history.
Of course, the Victorian era really skyrocketed the popularity of gemstones, and today these precious gems can be found in a number of different jewelry styles. It’s safe to say that garnets aren’t going to go out of style in the jewelry world any time soon!
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.
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.
The most popular garnet, this type of gemstone usually wears its traditional rich red and purplish tone.
This is one of the rarer garnets, and its green tone is reminiscent of both emeralds and its close cousin, the grossular garnet.
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.
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.
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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.
CELEBRITIES WHO LOVE GARNET
Many of us look up to celebrities, and as a society, we often try to mimic the styles they portray. Celebrities tend to be at the forefront of the fashion industry, and they know how to set a trend or renew an old one.
Plenty of celebrities have rocked garnet jewelry, and we’re here for it! Let’s take a look at some of the celebrities who have worn garnet jewelry the best.
Scarlett Johansson is an iconic actress who embodies all the best aspects of female power through her role playing Black Widow in the Marvel Franchise. This actress made a stunning debut in Fashion Week of 2011 when she appeared wearing custom rose gold shepherd’s hook earrings with garnets. Her garnet earrings showed that this gem can enhance any outfit without overpowering the wearer’s natural beauty.
We love it when men show off their accessories, and Keith Richards did it best when he donned a garnet ring. The talented English man’s music has reached the hearts of many, and his garnet ring may have inspired an entire generation of men to show off their fashion sense with this precious gemstone.
Emma Stone blew audiences away with her stellar performance in Easy A and The Amazing Spiderman, and her fashion sense is just as superb as her acting skills! This talented actress has been seen wearing several different pieces of garnet jewelry, including a dazzling garnet necklace and a pair of trendy garnet earrings. She knows how to style a deep red garnet necklace with a more vibrant red dress. Her ensemble allowed for an irresistible pop of color that guaranteed she wouldn’t go unnoticed!
No list of garnet-wearing celebrities would be complete without mentioning the Dutchess of Cambridge! Kate Middleton rocks garnet jewelry regularly and, in particular, can be seen wearing a garnet ring gifted to her by Price William. The ring symbolizes their close relationship and looks absolutely gorgeous on her finger. If you’re wondering who wears garnet jewelry the best on this list, then the answer is definitely Kate Middleton!
Types of Garnet Cuts
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!