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Garnet is commonly known for it's red variation, but the term garnet is used to describe a much broader group of minerals. Garnet is present in a broad selection of colors: deeply saturated purplish reds, reds, greens, oranges, pinkish oranges, and even some blues. Many of these colors are rare. The normal red garnet is typically pyrope but may also be almandine garnet.
The traditional red garnet is the birthstone for January, although other garnets colors may be substituted if desired. It is also the gem of the second anniversary.
Color: Garnets (pyrope and rhodolite) are very common. Look for intense, vivid color. Rich color should be available for most varietie, however the green gems Tsavorite and especially Demantoid are highly prized. These colors will require a premium.
Clarity: The red garnets: Almandine, Pyrope and Rhodolite, should be eye-clean. The orange garnets in the Spessartite and Hessonite series will invariably have inclusions that will be visible to the eye.
Cut: Red garnets will be readily available in all shapes and sizes. Other shapes will be more limited, particularly the green varieties.
Carat Weight: The red garnets are common in large sizes and so value does not rise dramatically. However in the more unusual forms the value will increase dramatically as size increases.
Read more at the GIA Garnet page.
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