Garnets are formed by various chemicals and minerals uniting to create a dense cluster and usually have a common crystal structure to one another. While there are over twenty categories of garnet, known as species, only five of these are worth trading commercially and crafting into jewellery.
Garnet is found in a vast array of colours, from the deep red Bohemian Garnet to the vibrant greens of the Russian Demantoid and African Tsavorite. Warm orange and golden-brown garnet, known as spessartite and hessonite, are more likely to be found in places such as Namibia or Sri Lanka. Garnet of pink and purple hues are known as rhodolite, usually rhodolite is found in Umba Valley, East Africa, nearby Kenya and Tanzania.
Garnet is the birthstone for January and the gemstone for the 2nd anniversary.
These species offer garnets of various colours, the most common being almandine and pyrope – fierce and deep red, spessartite – fiery and intense orange, andradite – a rare lime infused vivid green. Due to the atomic bonds of some garnet species being stronger than others, garnet as a general gemstone ranges as a 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness.
The summer-y green species of demantoid, intense red of almandine, and champagne tinted yellow of andradite and grossularite are all amongst the harder types of garnet species, rating closer to 7 - 7.5 on the Mohs scale, along with tangerine hued hessonite and the peach toned malaya.