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Introduction to Rhodolite Garnet

The oranges of autumn leaves, the glowing red coals of a winter fire, the sparkling green of a summer field, and the beautiful pinks of spring flowers, garnet is a gemstone for all seasons. Garnets are a closely related group of gemstones that are available in almost every color.


Neon Green Tsavorite Garnet

Neon green Tsavorite Garnet 2.13 cts


Garnet is an ancient gem, known thousands of years before Christ. It was originally known as "carbuncle". Garnets are supposed to have curative powers, especially against fevers. The wearer of garnets is supposed to be protected during traveling and kept in good health. Garnet comes from the Latin word "granatus", which means "like seeds", because garnets in rock look like seeds in a pomegranate. The Victorian Era used reddish garnets in fashionable jewelry, thus popularizing the gem.


Spessartite Garnet in Sugarloaf cut

This 8.19 cts Spessartite in sugarloaf cut features a splendid cinnamon color and fantastic crystal quality. 


Garnets have long been carried by travelers to protect against accidents far from home. In Asia and the American Southwest, garnets were used as bullets because the glowing red color was said to increase the ferocity of a wound. Garnets in legend light up the night and protect their owners from nightmares. The ancient world is full of praise for the carbuncle, the glowing red coal of a gemstone we now know as garnet.


Rhodolite Garnet 10.2 cts

A fine example of a top quality 10.2 cts Rhodolite Garnet.


Jewelry set with garnets from Czechoslovakia was extremely popular in the nineteenth century and Bohemian garnet jewelry is still popular today, although today the garnets are mined elsewhere. When you say garnet, most people think automatically of small dark red gemstones, even though this is only one aspect of the world of garnets.


One of the most popular garnet varieties is rhodolite which ranges from pink to purplish red in color. Most rhodolite available today is mined in Africa, India, or Sri Lanka. The rough stones are often in water worn pebbles that are well shaped for cutting beautiful gems.


Purple Rhodolite Garnet

Amazing Purple "Grape" Garnet 5.08 cts 


Rhodolite is prized for it's rich wine like colors. From a light rosé color to a rich Bordeaux, rhodolite can be found in quite large and clean gems at very reasonable prices. Some of the colors are so rich they are described as being sweet by many gemstone dealers.


Light Pink Malaya Garnet

A lovely example of "Malaya" Pink Garnet


To select a top quality rhodolite for your personal collection, look for a rich grape-like color, but not too dark. You should choose a well cut, clean and bright stone that will look great whether worn in a ring or pendant. However you choose to set your rhodolite gem, you are sure to have a striking piece of jewelry to be enjoyed for a lifetime.


©Jeffery L Bergman, SSEF SGC

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