Few gemstones are as diverse as the garnet. They come in an array of striking rainbow colors, setting them apart from a standard engagement ring. For hundreds of years, garnets symbolized victory, love and strength. If you wish to make a powerful statement, what better choice to show your partner your promise to commit than a garnet ring?
The name garnet comes from the Latin ‘granatus’, or ‘seed’, as they look like pomegranate seeds when mined. They are an affordable alternative to diamonds or sapphires and make for a great gift as well. You can go with one stone or combine many to create a multicolored effect. Although the garnet has many varieties that can seem overwhelming, let us help you understand all its desirable properties.
What are the colors available for a garnet ring?
Color is the primary consideration, for each can evoke a different feeling. Red garnets conjure a vintage effect, for they were in vogue in Victorian times. Orange and green garnets feel more modern, especially when matched with other colorful stones. Unlike other colored gems, the garnet has plenty of types. The five most important are pyrope, almandine, grossular, spessartite, and andradite. They can be divided again into subgroups based on their color.
This purplish to dark blood-red stone is sourced from China, Madagascar, Myanmar, South Africa, and Sri Lanka. Pure pyrope is unknown, always containing components of almandine and spessartite. Large, clean pyropes are rare, and thus quite expensive.
This deep red violet garnet is one of the common garnet species, its vibrant hues symbolizing compassion and peace. Its abundance makes almandine relatively inexpensive and is typically mined from India, Sri Lanka, and the United States.
Rhodolite is a popular derivative of the almandine-pyrope. You can find these flaw-free rich purple-red or rose-red stones for prices ranging anywhere from between $150 to $350 per carat, depending on the quality.
Grossular has the widest color palette, spanning from colorless to yellow, orange-red and reddish orange to vivid green. The most popular is the tsavorite, a valuable garnet of intense green.
Grossular garnets are small, rich in color and scarce, which increases their value. For example, it is rare to find a tsavorite over 2 carats. Large clean stones with strong colors can go from $500 a carat to as much as $2,000 or even $7,000.
This variety of orange garnet spans red-brown to fiery orange. High quality orange-red spessartites can start from around $300 a carat and climb to over $2,000 a carat for top-range large orange stones.
Andradite is a variety of green or yellowish green garnet. The most popular type is demantoid, one of the most stunning and valuable garnets you will find. It is light green and even surpasses a diamond’s blinding brilliance. Demantoids are highly valuable and it is rare to find a stone bigger than one carat. Thus, prices for a Russian demantoid can easily start at $1,000 per carat, though certain African demantoids are available for a lower price.
The price of a garnet depends on the color and type. You will find pyrope and almadine garnets with the same red tone sold at very different values.
How important is clarity for a garnet?
Every garnet type has different levels of clarity. Red garnets like pyrope, rhodolite and almandine are eye-clean while orange garnets like hessonite and spessartite will have eye-visible inclusions. Clarity is important in larger stones, for inclusions reduce the gem’s value. The rare exception is demantoid’s “horsetail inclusions”, which is greatly desired.
How do you pick the ring carat size of a garnet?
Garnets come in every size and weight. Size can affect a stone’s value depending on the garnet type. Tsavorites and demantoids are rare, so larger gems are highly valued. But since the pyrope and almandine are abundant, their prices don’t significantly change with size.
Are garnets enhanced or treated?
Garnets are rarely subjected to treatments and enhancements since their color is 100% natural and do not need any improvement. You can read this article to learn more about how treatments and enhancements strengthen a gemstone’s color and clarity. Ultimately, you should choose a garnet for the allure of its color over size, depending on your budget, your intentions, and your partner’s preference.
What is the best shape and cut for a garnet?
The garnet has an advantage over other gems: It can be cut into the standard shape or size or even a custom design that can easily be set in rings. You can read more about the types of cuts and shapes available, but the popular options are the cabochon, round brilliant, oval brilliant, emerald, and step cuts. If you have a designer cut in mind, then a garnet ring is the right way to go!
The type of cut and shape depends on both the stone and color. Demantoid is cut in precise proportions to draw out its fiery color, while tsavorites are cut from the rough to retain their weight. Some varieties even have uncommon optical effects, such as asterism and color change. Any of these gems are ideal for an engagement ring when cut and set right.
What are the best metal choices for a garnet ring?
When it comes to the metal of choice, you will find that gold, white gold, rose gold, yellow gold and platinum are often favorites.
Each metal produces a different effect. Set in yellow gold, red garnets evoke royalty while rose gold’s warmth has a more contemporary appeal. The cool minimalist sleekness of platinum and white gold contrast with the intense colors to make your garnet ring stand out.
If you have the desire to mix and match, garnets make wonderful accent stones and are even enhanced by other gems. Tsavorite sparkles when lined by white sapphires, while an oval-cut hessonite gets an added shine with diamond accent stones.
Does your partner prefer a ring that evokes nostalgia for the past? Are they more up-to-date with the latest fashion trends? Better yet, do they celebrate their birthday in January? A garnet engagement ring or promise ring captures all this, and can be the ideal ring for your beloved.
How to care for your garnet ring
Although it ranks 6.5-7.5 on the Mohs scale, each garnet type has different levels of durability. Tsavorite, spessartite, pyrope, and almandine will fall on the harder side, while demantoid will be a little softer. Garnets are tough on average. While you should avoid subjecting your ring to rough wear or hard blows, it can survive a more rigorous lifestyle.
Avoid using harsh cleaning chemicals that could damage the color. Always use warm soapy water to clean your garnet ring. Remove it when engaging in arduous outdoor activities, sports, or even household work. This can prolong its longevity. The right treatment and proper care can make your ring last you a long time.
What is the worth of a garnet ring?
A garnet ring’s true worth lies in its customization. Unlike most gems, garnet has a horde of options available. A machine-made machine-cut ring might be more affordable than a handcrafted ring with a custom-cut eye-clean stone. But both are lovely in their own right. If you have a flair for the creative, then garnet is your gem.
Whether you go with styles of red, orange, yellow or any other color, you can be certain that there is something for everyone. A garnet ring is more than just another ring; it speaks from the heart and is a lasting investment on your big day with the love of your life.