The garnet group holds some of the rarest and most coveted types of gemstones. Most people know of the standard red garnet (almandine and pyrope type) but there are so many less-known species such as demantoids, color change garnets, blue garnets, tsavorite and more. Today we will cover all of them, what makes them special and prices!
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Unlike tourmaline and corundum, Garnets are not part of a family, but are a group. They are not considered a family because they do not have the same chemical composition. They are a group with other gemstone with similar compositions, but not exactly the same. The element that colors the Garnet changes its chemical composition making it a group instead of a family.
Additionally, Garnets are not heat treated. Sapphires and Rubies, which are part of the corundum family, are almost always heat treated to achieve the saturation of their color. Garnets, however, can naturally achieve a highly saturated color.
Demantoids are green colored Garnets with the world-famous horsetail inclusion. They are golden needle-like inclusions inside the stone shaped like a horsetail. Up until a few years ago, a Demantoid Garnet was only identified by the horsetail inclusion. However, the horsetail inclusion in a Demantoid is what makes the stone expensive. They can be found in forest greens, yellowish greens, paler greens, or even brownish green. The qualities you should look for is green with a little bit of yellow, or forest green, and of course, the horsetail inclusion.
Garnets are unique in the sense that their qualities differ depending on their color and type. Mint to forest green Demantoids have a higher dispersion, meaning they will shine brighter than a diamond.
If a Demantoid Garnets has the horsetail inclusion, its price can go up to $20K to $50K per carat. However, if it is not included, the price would go down to $300 to $400 per carat.
Color Changing Blue Garnet
Blue was thought to be an impossible color in Garnets until a recent discovery in 2016. The blue is colored by Vanadium and changes color from blue, to green blue. It is the rarest and most expensive Garnets. Only two pockets were found and have already been sold.
There are three color changes: blue vanadium, the raspberry blue, and brown. It is difficult to find them in anything larger than a carat because of their extreme rarity. If you do manage to find a raspberry blue garnet in larger than one carat, it’ll be in the range of $80K per carat.
Tsavorite is a deep green Garnet. Jewelers today favor Tsavorite as it is a great alternative for emeralds. Emeralds are almost always heavily included and a more brittle.
If you are looking for an Emerald with the same clarity and saturation as a Tsavorite, you will be paying much more for the Emerald than the Tsavorite. Additionally, Tsavorites are harder stones than Emeralds.
What you want to look for in a Tsavorite is an inclusion free stone, high saturation, and big sizes. Smaller Tsavorites are easily found, however, once you reach 1 carat and more, the prices can reach $1K - $2K per carat. If you reach 10 carats, you’ll find the price goes up to $60K per carat.
The purple hued stone can be found almost everywhere in the market. This type of Garnet is a nice alternative for people who want to steer away from the popular red garnets. It is also a nice alternative for amethyst as it’s a different and more unique shade of purple. Additionally, if you like the color of spinel, Rhodolite is a great alternative for a lower price point.
Prices for Rhodolite garnets turn around 75-100$ a ct and slowly increase as the carat weight increases. They are one of the more affordable types of garnets.
Hessonite and Spessartite
Leaning on the orange side of the rainbow, Hessonite has a scotch-like inclusion where when looking into it, it feels as though you are looking into alcohol. Spessartite is similar to Hessonite, however, they do not have this milky inclusion that Hessonite is known for.
Spessartite is commonly found included, especially the larger carat weight. However it is a stone where the bright vivid shade of orange will influence the quality and price of the stone over the clarity. Stones over 1ct with nice color and clarity are very hard to find and clients can expect to pay in consequence.
Hessonite is a fun collector’s piece and a great way to support local economy in Canada as they are commonly found here. The prices for Hessonite go from $75 - $150 per carat. It’s not an expensive stone but it’s a durable one!
Pyrope and Almandine
These are the two types of red Garnets often and easily found on the market. What you look for in Pyrope and Almandine is a beautiful red, as it is often used as an alternative for rubies. Rubies and Garnets are not the same stone at all, the former has a slightly pink/orange hue to it whereas the latter usually has a brown hue to it.
Least expensive to most expensive Garnets
- Melanite pyrope almandine garnet: $20 per carat
- Pyrope – Almandine: $60 per carat
- Rhodolite: $75 - $100 per carat
- Rainbow: $75 - $100 per carat
- Hessonite – Spessartite: $200 - $300 per carat
- Tsavorite: $900 - $2000 per carat
- Raspberry to blue: $900 - $2000 per carat
- Demantoid: $1000 - $5000 per carat
- Vanadium Blue: $3000 per carat
If you are looking to source any of the stones mentioned here, please do not hesitate to reach out to us! If you are looking to create a custom Garnet engagement ring, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help! At Fine+Flux we specialize in custom jewelry and look forward to creating personalized pieces for our customers!