Garnets are a set of closely related minerals forming a group, with gemstones in almost every color.
Red garnets have a long history, but modern gem buyers can pick from a rich palette of garnet colors: greens, oranges, pinkish oranges, deeply saturated purplish reds, and even some blues. Red garnet is one of the most common and widespread of gems. But not all garnets are as abundant as the red ones. A green garnet, tsavorite, is rarer and needs rarer rock chemistries and conditions to form.
Campbell Bridges mined tsavorite garnet in Kenya near Tsavo National Park.
The imperial Russian jeweler created intricate jewelry designs for demantoid garnet.
A stylish red garnet bead necklace found in a grave in Egypt is more than 5,000 years old.
There are processes used to alter the color, apparent clarity, or improve the durability of gems. Some gemstones have synthetic counterparts that have essentially the same chemical, physical, and optical properties, but are grown by man in a laboratory.
Garnet is the birthstone for January and the gem for the second anniversary.