Garnets are the birthstone for January. A deep red color
is most common but they come in every shade of the rainbow
except blue. As early as the time of the Egyptian pharaohs, garnets were popular. They have been found with their mummified corpses. Garnets were very popular in the 19th and 20th century and are a popular stone today because it is common and inexpensive. If you look hard enough, you can find vintage garnet earrings and garnet necklaces in estate jewelry stores. Garnets are a good everyday stone to wear as its hardness is a 7 to 7.5 out of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale.
Another interesting but rare garnet over three carats is the stunningly beautiful Tsavorite garnet. Most garnets are quite small, most often under one carat. These garnets have a piercing green color, like a very fine tourmaline and are often found with wonderful clarity. The most valuable tsavorite is a slightly bluish green. Less valuable is the yellowish green color. Tsvorite garnets are a 7 to 7.5 out of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale.
This garnet is also green. The variety of color ranges from slightly yellowish green to brownish green. A very rare color is an almost emerald green and is highly desired by collectors. Demantoid garnets are a 6.5 out of 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness. It is the softest stone in the garnet family. A demantoid garnet ring would show wear more easily than other garnets because it is considered a soft stone.
A very rare garnet, until the find at the Kunene River in Namibia, is the spessartite garnet. It is a radiant orange to red color. Because it became too expensive to “exploit” that mine, spessartite garnets are usually found with private collectors.