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January’s Birthstone: Garnet

Garnet is A Group Of Gems With The Same Crystal Structure, But Varying Appearances

January’s birthstone is garnet, a gemstone that can take on many hues and appearances. Those born in January are lucky- garnet can come in almost any color of the rainbow, display phenomena such as color change or asterism, and have been used in jewelry and decorative arts for almost all of recorded history. Garnet jewelry has been found that can be dated as far back as the Bronze Age, and garnets were valued by many ancient societies.

While many birthstones are specific varieties of gem groups, garnets can range so widely in color and appearance that it is almost certain there is a piece of garnet jewelry that will suit your taste. This is because garnet is a gem group. Gem groups are composed of many varieties, which all have the same crystal structure and general properties, but may differ slightly in chemical composition.

Garnets Come in Almost Every Color of The Rainbow

The many varieties of garnets have the same crystal structure, but differ slightly in chemical composition.

While a deep red color may come to mind, garnets come in almost every color of the rainbow, and may show phenomenon such as color change or asterism. Think of the word “garnet” as an umbrella term, under which many species and varieties fall. For example, there are almandine garnets, andradite garnets, grossular garnets, pyrope garnets, rhodolite garnets, and spessartine garnets.

Be Careful- Don’t Mistake Garnets For Rubies, Peridots, or Other Gems!

Because garnets can range so widely in appearance, they are often mistaken for other gemstones with similar appearances. It is important to properly identify garnets in jewelry so you can be sure you are not undervaluing (or overvaluing!) your piece. While red varieties of garnet are more common, the slightly yellowish green variety of garnet, demantoid, is rarer. Valued for “horsetail” inclusions that have a silky appearance to the naked eye, demantoid garnets are one of the few non-diamond gemstones that occasionally display a dazzling flash of rainbow color known as fire. Because fine demantoid garnets are rare, they are more valuable than other varieties of garnets. It’s easy to mistake a rare demantoid garnet for a peridot- a much more common, less valuable gem- and miss out on additional profit for your business that was hidden in your jewelry inventory.

Why Is It Important To Correctly Identify Gemstones?

When pricing estate jewelry or loose gemstones for sale- you should be careful! Many gemstones are similar in appearance to one another, especially without magnification and intensive knowledge of gemology and jewelry. Deep red garnets are easily misidentified as rubies, and orange, pink, and green varieties might be mistaken for sapphires. A yellowish-green demantoid garnet is similar in appearance to peridot, and the two are easy to confuse at first glance. Mistaking a garnet for a different gemstone often results in a drastic departure from the actual value of the gem, which can mean you are far under (or over!) charging for jewelry pieces.

GIA Graduate Gemologists at JAGi Lab Can Help You Identify & Sell Garnet Jewelry

All the gemologists at JAGi Lab are GIA Graduate Gemologists and have been highly trained in the art of gemology and in appraising mounted jewelry. With our many certifications, and a combined 75+ years of experience in the jewelry and pawn industries, JAGi Lab is your jewelry inventory resource. We can help you identify unknown gemstones, as well as separate natural from synthetic gemstones, natural from lab-grown diamonds, and grade both diamonds and gemstones.

Every pawnbroker has an amount of unrecognized wealth hidden in their jewelry inventory- let JAGi Lab help you increase profits and generate more jewelry sales with our gemstone and diamond sorting, appraisal, and jewelry rehab services.

January 6, 2021 Uncategorized
About Jackie Panetta

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