Who Says Garnets have to be Red – January Birthstone

When you think of Garnet if you are like me you will always think red! But Garnet comes in some many different colours which include shades of purple, red, reddish-brown, green, yellow-orange, pink, orange and even black!

Let’s take Pyrope Garnet which I have to say I use a lot, but then I am a lover of red Garnets!  Pyrope Garnets are noted for their transparency and also their lack of flaws and inclusions.

I recently created a beautiful bracelet using Artisan Lampwork glass beads in a creamy gold with lots of pixie dust for added sparkle!  In between the creamy gold beads are clusters of AAA Pyrope Garnets rondelles all hand wire wrapped onto 24k Gold Vermeil ball headpins with a beautiful large golden yellow AAA Citrine rondelle at each end of the beads.pyrope garnet and gold lampwork glass bracelet1a All of these gemstones have crisp faceting!  To finish this bracelet off I have wire wrapped two gorgeous rich red Pyrope briolettes as charms to the Gold Vermeil “C” shaped toggle clasp…the whole effect is stunning even if I say so myself!

The same can be said for these earrings which were created using Pyrope Garnets wire wrapped with Gold Vermeil wire.

pyrope garnet coiled earrings4aI loved the shape of these briolettes, they have long facets somewhat like trillions only longer. I wish I had purchased more but I can’t seem to find them again which is a pity because my customers loved these earrings.  I hand coiled a bail and suspended them from simple Gold vermeil shepherds hook earring wires..but you can see the full colour is like a bottle of good Portuguese Douro red wine!

So then I thought about Rhodolite which means “rose-like” in Greek.  This is a pink-purple to violet form of Garnet variety from the Pyrope family. This gemstone also has great translucency and generally has little in the way of flaws, but of course it depends on how much you are willing to pay as to the quality of the gemstones! I personally prefer AAA stones if I can find them.PINK GARNET PINK AMETHYST HOOP EARRINGS3A  As you can see these Garnets blend really well with any stones of the pink variety ie Pink Amethyst or Rose da France as they are sometimes referred to.  These hoop style earrings have tiny pink Amethysts wire wrapped and weaved with 24k Gold Vermeil wire on either side of the larger Rhodolite Garnet.  The hoops are suspended from Contemporary round 24k Gold Vermeil earring wires!  But as you can see the colour is definitely leaning towards a more pink colour way!

So then we move onto Hessonite Garnet which comes in cinnamon brown, orange-red, golden amber colours..quite hard to describe really, but no less beautiful. hessonite garnet cluster earrings2aThe name comes from the Greek  “hesson”, meaning inferior but that is an allusion to its lower hardness and lower density than most other garnet varieties not to its beauty or appeal as a gemstone. These earrings feature clusters of AAA Hessonite Garnet rondelles all hand wire wrapped onto 24k Gold Vermeil ball headpins and suspended from long Marquis shaped 24k Gold Vermeil earring wires.  You can see the full array of colours in this photograph!

Then of course there is Spassartite Garnets, here is a photograph of these garnets, which are also known as Mandarin Garnets.  This variety of Garnet comes in a bright orange colour when pure, but with increased iron within the stone, they turn a darker orange to red colour and often referred to as “Root Beer” Garnets. spessartite garnet11aThese are going to be used in one my next projects.  Maybe a simple pendant and matching earrings…I love the conch style design.  The name comes from the Spessart, Germany where the stone was first discovered!  I think they would look beautiful wire wrapped in gold wire as opposed to silver.  I always think that rich colours need Gold wire whereas bright colour’s can take Silver wire.

I was recently asked to make a pendant using Garnets and the person didn’t like Gold preferring instead Silver.  Of course if that is the customers preference then I will make it for them!  However, when it was finished I didn’t think it had..what shall I call it Zing.  garnet rutilated quartz silver pendant necklace5aHere is a photograph of that pendant. I had created another similar in gold and the difference between the two pendants is significant, this one strikes me as being cold looking especially as the other stone featured is a black Tourmalinated Quartz stone, which I have again used many times in lots of different styles and shapes. (love all those black Tourmaline rutiles!

So take a look at the other style of pendant using the same Tourmalinated Quartz stone but in a different shape and the same red Pyrope Garnets rondelles.  TOURMALATED QUARTZ GARNET PENDANT2ASame stones but different style of pendant but you get the picture!  This one is warmer, much more appealing!

As I said its just my opinion but I do think that the Gold definitely brings out the colour from the two stones and adds that extra sparkle to the pendant!

I wished I could show you some of the Green colour Garnets – Dermantoid, Grossular and of course Tsavorite but as yet I haven’t used them but maybe I will add something about them in another post.

Thank you for reading, Di xx





This entry was posted in Gemstones, Handmade Jewellery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply