Garnet gemstone

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Physical properties of garnet

Hardness: 6.5-7.5 out of 10 on the Mohs scale
Luster: glass
Transparency: transparent
Color: red, bright red, orange, purple, green, purple, black, chameleons (in the light of the sun - bluish-green, under the light of an electric lamp - purple-green)

Characteristics of garnet

Garnet (carbuncle, anfrax, worm, benisa, becheta or bijazi, leuco garnet, shorlomite, melanite, Ural garnet, andradite, spessartine) is one of the most famous and most beautiful gemstones in the world.

Garnet. Gemstone. Faceted garnet, garnet rings

The garnet got its name from the fruit of the same name - pomegranate (which, translated from Latin (granum), means grain). The garnet was named so because the naturally occurring garnet crystals closely resemble pomegranate seeds.

By the way, a well-known measure of weight - a grain (less than half a percent of a gram), which has been used for precious stones since ancient times, is so named because in the old days they used grains of small fruits.

Previously, all red gemstones were called garnets. And the name "garnet" was first used by the alchemist Albert Magnus in 1270. And only from the beginning of the 19th century, garnets began to mean only certain stones - almandines, andradites, grossulars, pyropes, demantoids, spessartines and uvarovites.

The garnet was known in many places and therefore this gemstone has many different names: carbuncle (from the Latin "carbon" - "coal", since the pomegranate stones very much resembled shimmering coals), anfrax (not only garnets, but also other red stones - ruby, tourmaline, spinel), lal (Russian name), venisa (Persian name), becheta or bijazi (Arabic name) and others.

At the present time, garnet is a transparent red stone (most often almandine and pyrope). But there are also garnets of other colors - leuco garnet (a transparent gem - leikos means white in Greek), schorlomite and melanite (black garnet), Ural garnet (unusual green color), spessartine (yellow-orange, red-orange garnet). There are no blue garnets.

Varieties of garnet gemstone:

  • pyropes - red and dark red garnets, the color is very thick, which makes the stones seem almost black
  • rhodolites - pink, red-pink, violet-pink garnets, bright to neon color, are a mixture of pyropes and almandines
  • almandines - deep red, violet-red, violet, raspberry, brown-red garnets, rated below other varieties of garnets
  • uvarovites - emerald green or grassy green garnets, large stones are very rare
  • grossulars - light green, greenish-brown, yellowish garnets, are divided into several types:
    • hessonites - brown, orange, yellow grossulars
    • rosoliths - pale pink, pinkish red grossulars
    • rumyantsevites - brownish-red grossulars
    • succinites - amber-yellow grossulars
    • tsavorites - green grossulars, the most valuable variety of grossulars
  • hydrogrossulars - pale colored grossulars andradites - yellow, green, red, brown garnets, there are several varieties:
    • demantoids - green andradites, have a strong luster, the most valuable among all types of garnets
    • topazolites - yellow-green andradites, too small for jewelry
    • collophonites - reddish-brown andradites
    • gelletites - light green andradites
    • melanites - black andradites
  • spessartines - pink, red, orange, brown, brown garnets
  • majorites - purple garnets, very rare and very expensive (from $ 2,000 per 1 carat), they are not on free sale

Garnet is a very beautiful gemstone and has been used by jewelers since ancient times to make jewelry - rings, pendants, earrings and brooches. One of the most beautiful garnet jewelry is a necklace that the famous composer B. Smetana gave to his wife (now kept in Prague at the B. Smetana Museum) and a garnet set presented to Goethe by Ulrike von Levetsov (the garnet set includes a necklace, two bracelets, buckle, earrings and a ring, in total there are 460 beautiful garnets in the whole set).

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