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Warm Up Your Winter with Garnets

January....It's chilly, sometimes absolutely freezing! The holiday rushing is done and really, all I want to do is huddle up and bury myself in a blanket in front of a fire...if I were so lucky! So, let's warm up with the thought of warm garnets! Garnet is the birthstone for January and many people don't realize how many varieties of garnet there are.

The most recognized ones are Mozambique and Rhodolite, ranging from rust red to purplish, red wine hues. Physical properties (crystal structure) are the same but the chemical composition is what makes them differ. Garnet species are found in many colors including red, orange, yellow, green, purple, brown, blue, black, pink, and colorless, with reddish shades most common. Spessartite garnet is orange; tsavorite garnet is green. 

Tsavorite Earrings

There are more than twenty garnet categories, called species, but only five are commercially important as gems. Those five are pyrope, almandine (also called almandite), spessartine, grossular (grossularite), and andradite. Some garnets can even exhibit the color-change phenomenon similar to the rare gemstone alexandrite.

Garnets are primarily mined in Brazil, Africa, India and Sri Lanka, with some deposits in Australia, Pakistan, and even some deposits in the United States

The name “garnet” comes from the Latin word “Garanatus,” meaning “seedlike,” in reference to a pomegranate. In Greek mythology, a pomegranate is referenced as a gift of love and is associated with eternity. Nowadays, Garnet remains as a gift of love and is traditionally given for the 19th anniversary of marriage. It may also be used as a gift for two-year and six-year anniversaries. Garnets have been popular throughout history. Garnets were found as beads in a necklace worn by a young man in a grave that dates back to 3000 B.C. This is proof of the hardness and durability of the stone.

If you would like to add a garnet to your collection, come see the ones in the cases or choose a loose stone to make into your own signature piece. Warm up your winter in a whole new way!


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51 E. Jefferson St., Winterset, IA  50273

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