Garnet ~ January's Birthstone

It may well be that garnets have gotten an undeserved bad reputation. Garnets have many good qualities. They have high indices of refraction, are hard, have pretty colors, are transparent, lack cleavage, and are durable. Nevertheless, for some reason, they are viewed as an inferior gemstone. Interestingly enough, the reason for their poor reputation may be the fact that they are relatively easy to come by and, therefore, comparatively inexpensive. Garnets can vary greatly both in color and variety. Some are both beautiful and rare and so are classified as precious gemstones. The garnets is January’s birthstone.

The most common shape for a garnet is the rhombic dodecahedron, a crystal with twelve-sides, with diamond-shaped (rhombic) faces. No other crystal shape is so specifically paired with a mineral group like the rhombic dodecahedron. Most garnets are red and so many people believe that garnets are available only in that color. Not so. Garnets come in any number of other colors, including reddish-brown, brown, black, green, colorless, orange, ruby red, pink, and bright green. The garnet is well shaped. The shape of the crystal, their color and luster make beautiful stones. They also partner well in jewelry with other more expensive minerals.

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