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Fancy Jewelry Article

All about jewelry and fancy jewelry

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Garnet – birthstone for the month of January.

Believed to represent faith, loyalty, truth and devotion, garnet is known as the stone of commitment. Most people think of garnet as a single type of gem that is dark red in color. Actually, garnet is a gem family that spans a range of red, green, yellow, orange, purple and brown shades.













Garnet's name comes from the Latin "Granatus," which means "seed-like." Many garnet crystals have the shape and color of pomegranate seeds.













Best known among the garnets are the deep red almandine and pyrope garnets. Their widespread availability makes them extremely affordable (under $40 a carat). In recent years rhodolite, a mix of almandine and pyrope, has become increasingly popular and is found in light to dark pink to purplish red, even grape. Rare garnets as the green colored tsavorite, can cost several hundreds of dollars per cart.













Buying Tips


Color is most important when determining the value of garnet. Lively, bright colors command higher prices than gems that are too light or dark. Better quality garnets are usually eye clean and very high clarity (not many inclusions) under magnification. Also watch out for synthetic imitations in lower priced jewelry.





Folklore
There are many ancient traditions and legends about garnets. According to the Egyptians, garnet is an antidote for snakebite and food poisoning. Some Hebrew writers include it as one of the 12 gems in Aaron’s breastplate. Christian tradition long considered the blood-red garnet symbolic of Christ's sacrifice. The Koran holds that it illuminates the Fourth Heaven of the Moslems. Garnet was said to give its wearer guidance in the night allowing him to see when others couldn’t. Legend claims that Noah hung a large garnet in the ark for illumination. Garnet was thought to help the wearer resist melancholy, cure heart palpitations, word off evil spirits, spark creativity and provide a grounding influence.

Care
Clean garnet with warm soapy water and a soft brush. A sonic cleaner can be used for most garnets except for Andradite (Demantoid) garnets because they are softer than other garnets. Do not use a steamer.

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