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An oval cut garnet gemstone featured in a silver pendant

Garnet Gemstone Guide

Available in an array of rich, eye-catching colors, garnet is one of the most delightfully diverse of all gemstones. It's commonly found in deep red hues, but its palette also includes dazzling oranges, vibrant greens and saturated purples.

This stunning gemstone was used to make jewelry in ancient times and continues to be a popular choice for beautiful gemstone jewelry today.

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What is a garnet?

What makes garnets so wonderfully distinctive is that they’re actually a family of several closely related gemstones, each one called a species. Garnet varieties are found all over the world, most notably in India, China, Australia and the United States. The six garnet species specifically used in jewelry include almandine, spessartine, grossular, pyrope, andradite and uvarovite, the rarest garnet type — this variation is emerald green in color and is often too small to cut. Garnet in any form is the birthstone for January.


  • Green
  • Green
  • Pink
  • Purplish
  • Round
  • Oval
  • Cushion
Jarno from Rotterdam, Netherlands, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons / Cropped from original
Garnet Group
India, China, Australia, United States
Love, Compassion, Loyalty
6.5 to 7.5




Special Gemstone Care: Avoid sudden temperature changes

Similar Gemstones

  • Ruby
  • Sapphire
  • Morganite

What to Look for in Garnet Gemstones

Color and clarity are two very important characteristics of garnets, which are available in all shapes and sizes. They’re affordable and look gorgeous with any metal or jewelry setting. Here’s what to keep an eye out for when you’re choosing a garnet.

    In most cases, the color of a gemstone is its most important feature. Garnets come in a wide range of colors, from orangey-red to reddish-purple, with a deep, true red being the most popular. Some garnets come in color-changing varieties, which look different under various light sources. The most desirable garnet gemstones have a pure, consistent color throughout. Garnets with slight traces of other colors are usually more affordable but are still just as coveted and dazzling to look at.
    Learn About Color
  • CUT

    The variety of gemstone cuts showcase certain properties, such as their brilliance, color, size or clarity. Garnets are often cut in styles that allow the gem to keep more of its weight. Popular shapes for garnets include round, oval, cushion, trillion and heart.

    Gemstone clarity refers to the number and visibility of trace materials—known as inclusions—that are present in most gemstones. Inclusions in red garnet species are usually invisible to the eye, making for clear color and excellent iridescence. Orange garnet often has visible inclusions, typically making it a better value, but also adding to its charm.

    When shopping for gemstones, it’s best to consider the gemstone size — the diameter of the stone in millimeters — rather than the carat weight. Diameter measurements tell you how much of your colorful garnet is visible from above. Rare garnet varieties are worth more at larger sizes, but the cost of common red garnet doesn't significantly increase with the diameter of the stone.

    Enhancements improve the color and clarity of a gemstone. Most gemstones on the market are enhanced in some way, usually with heat treatment. Garnet stands out because it's a heat-sensitive gemstone and is rarely enhanced. We offer the highest quality gemstones treated using accepted techniques.

Hardness & Wearability

Depending on the species, garnet ranges from 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, which means that it’s a durable gemstone for all styles of jewelry, as long as you treat it with proper care. Don’t let your garnet suffer hard blows or rough wear.

Choosing the Right Garnet Jewelry

With so many options available, it's easy to pick a one-of-a-kind piece of garnet jewelry to reflect your personality. Rich, deep red garnet is always a stand-out, and its high clarity further intensifies its transparency and shine. Rare purple and green garnet gemstones have the appeal of exclusivity.

In any of its colors, garnet is an ideal gemstone for earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings or pendants. Consider which jewelry type best suits your style.

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Famous Garnet Gemstones

Legend has it that a red garnet was given by God to King Solomon. Noah is said to have used a garnet with a bright inner fire as a lamp aboard the ark. Ancient Romans fashioned red garnet into signet rings, while the Egyptian pharaohs adorned themselves with garnet necklaces. In medieval times, garnet was a favorite among clergy and nobility. One of the most famous pieces of garnet jewelry in the world today is an antique pyrope tiara from the Victorian era. Displayed in The Smithsonian, it showcases the fiery color and fierce brilliance of the gemstone. Learn more about the meaning of gemstones like garnet, and find out what your birthstone says about you. Garnet is traditionally believed to improve confidence, promote peace of mind, soothe anger and treat inflammation. Today, it's associated with wealth, health and happiness.

How to Care for Your Garnet Jewelry

Keep your garnet jewelry dazzling and in great condition with regular cleanings. Soak it in warm, soapy water, then use a soft-bristled toothbrush to give it a gentle polish. For more information, read our guide on caring for your gemstone jewelry.

Learn More About Gemstones

Garnet is just one of the many types of sparkling gemstones we offer. Learn about our other gemstones, and see which ones speak your language.

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