Garnets are the modern birthstone for January. They are the Zodiac birthstones for Aquarius, and an alternate for Capricorn. Garnets are given on the 2nd and 6th anniversary. Garnets are associated with strength, perseverity, prosperity, and health.
As a gemstone, garnets have had a mixed reputation. Garnets do possess high indices of refraction, are hard enough, have pretty colors, are wonderfully transparent, lack cleavage and are durable; thus making good candidates for gemstones. However, many people consider garnets to be inferior to other colored gems. This may be due to garnet's relative abundance and widespread use, and therefore a (typically) low price. Garnets are greatly variable in colors and varieties, though, and many of these are both rare and beautiful, producing genuinely precious gemstones. Some garnets are truly unique in the mineral kingdom and have much to offer as both gemstones and mineral specimens.
The main differences in physical properties among the members of the garnet group are slight variations in color, density and index of refraction.
The most common crystal shape for garnets is the rhombic dodecahedron, a twelve sided crystal with diamond-shaped (rhombic) faces. This basic shape is the trademark of garnets, for no other crystal shape is so closely associated with a single mineral group like the rhombic dodecahedron is with garnets.
Most garnets are red in color, leading to the erroneous belief that all garnets are red. In fact a few varieties, such as grossular, can have a wide range of colors, and uvarovite is always a bright green. As a mineral specimen, garnets usually have well shaped and complex crystals and their color and luster can make for a very beautiful addition to a collection. At times, garnets are accessory minerals to other valuable and pretty gem minerals such as topaz, beryl, tourmaline, vesuvianite and diopside making these specimens extra special.
For more information on garnets and their physical characteristics, see the Garnet page.
To see our natural (uncut) garnet specimens, click on any of the variety names and then the specimens link on that page, or select from the following list:
Note that few jewelers identify the type of garnet, so you may need to refer back to this page using color as a guide to identify the type of garnet in any given piece of jewelry.Amethyst Galleries sells natural mineral specimens, including precious metals and gemstones. For Fine Jewelry, see our affiliates: