Garnet Jewelry: A 2019 Fine Jewelry Trend

by Nancy Plante January 14, 2019

Garnet Jewelry: A 2019 Fine Jewelry Trend

When it comes to fine jewelry trends, the use of non-traditional stones has grown in popularity. More shoppers are looking for styles that are unique, offer healing benefits, and promote positive energy. Diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds (the traditional precious stones) remain in high demand, but interest has recently swelled for "the new precious.” This term is used to define semi-precious stones such as lapis, tiger’s eye, and tourmaline.

Garnet jewelry is part of this group of gorgeous and affordable stones, and for good reason. The January birthstone is durable, lustrous, versatile, and is said to offer curative powers. Plus, garnets come in more than just the color red! Below you’ll find everything you need to know about garnet jewelry, so you can rock this emerging fine jewelry trend.

Garnet History and Attributes

One of the most plentiful gemstones, garnets are truly special. There are few gems that offer its variety in size, color, and luster. The garnet gets it name from the Latin word “Garanatus,” meaning “seedlike,” in reference to a pomegranate. Since garnets look like bright red pomegranate seeds, the reference is very fitting. The stone was known as “carbuncle” in ancient times, referring to a red boil or a blister. Garnets come in a rainbow of colors, from orange and green to violet and dark gold. In the past, gems were identified by color, and many garnets were thought to be rubies.

Garnets were used as a sacred stone by the Mayans, Native American Indians, and the Aztecs. The stone was also used as protection from nightmares and for travelers who were far from home. Legend says that Noah used the inner light of garnet as a lamp on the bow of the Ark. Garnets were believed to dispel melancholy in Europe during the Middle Ages, and represented the sun in Spanish astrology.

Many women wore garnets because of the gemstone’s ancient connections with the feminine life force, and they were also used for immunity from wounds during conflicts. They became very popular in the 18th and 19th centuries in Europe, and were used in a great deal of jewelry in Victorian times.

Garnets are considered a great gift that symbolize friendship, peace, prosperity, good health, and trust. The stone is believed to give the wearer eternal happiness, health, and wealth. Also said to regulate the heart and blood, garnets balance energies and stimulate metabolism. One of the strongest stated virtues of wearing garnets is that they help to overcome depression, bringing about a calming effect. Plus, the stone symbolizes commitment and fidelity in marriage, making garnets a wonderful stone for a wedding or engagement ring.

Types of Garnets

almandine post back earrings

  • Almandine—The most widely used garnet in the gem trade, almandine has a scarlet color with overtones of brown. Thought to aid circulation and blood-related issues, this type of garnet is associated with the First Chakra and psychic protection.

spessartine gem plante jewelers

  • Spessartine—Known as the Garnet of the Sun, spessartine’s shades range from pale yellow to orangish-red. Associated with creative energies, spessartine is one of the rarer varieties of garnet. It is believed to activate analytical processes of the mind.  

  • Tsavorite—A green garnet that is harder than an emerald and similar in color, tsavorite is a fairly new type of garnet. It was discovered in the 1970s, and it is believed to increase prosperity and bestow affluence when worn.

rhodolite necklace

  • Rhodolite—A pinkish-red garnet that is actually a type of pyrope, rhodolite is reputed to balance the body’s energy flow and stimulate intuition. It is durable and very versatile.
  • Grape—Boasting a rich reddish-purple color, grape garnets are among the most trendy and exquisite shades available in rhodolite garnet.
  • Demantoid—A rare type of garnet found in the Ural mountains of Russia, demantoid is green in color and has a higher dispersion rating than diamond. This gem was widely used by Tiffany & Co. in the early 1900s and has distinctive “horsetail” inclusions.
  • Pyrope—One of the most well-known types of garnets, pyrope ranges in color from violet to deep scarlet. A stone of inspiration and vitality, it is often free of flaws and has good transparency.

Choosing and Caring for Your Garnet

Choose the garnet color that appeals to you. Colored gems are not subject to the same classifications of clarity as diamonds are. They are usually valued for their color. The clarity of a garnet depends on its type. For example, rhodolites and almandines usually do not have inclusions (any imperfections in the gemstone’s appearance) that are visible to the naked eye, while orange garnets, such as hessonites, may have inclusions that can be seen. Garnets are found in all shapes and sizes, but some types such as demantoid are more common in smaller sizes. Whatever cut you choose, it should sparkle and reflect light back evenly across the entire garnet.

It’s safe to clean your garnet jewelry with warm soapy water and a soft brush. Avoid steamers and sudden temperature changes. Be sure to rinse well after you wash your garnets. Ultrasonic treatments may also be used for any garnets except the demantoid variety.

How to Wear Garnet Jewelry

Garnets can be worn every day in the form of earrings, rings, and necklaces, with the exception of demantoid garnet, which is more suited to necklaces and pins. Try wearing deep red garnets with different colors in your wardrobe—a black and white outfit with red garnets looks spectacular and polished. Olive green, deep teal, or forest green go great with garnet jewelry.

Plante Jewelers offers a wonderful selection of lovely January birthstone jewelry to match your personal style. Our custom jewelry designers in Swansea, Massachusetts can help you create a garnet jewelry piece that is purely your own.

Nancy Plante
Nancy Plante


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