Gemstone of the Week

Demantoid Garnet

It's no secret that garnet is the birthstone of people born in January but I wondered if I could find some unusual members of the garnet family because not everyone born in January likes the sumptious deep red colour of garnets.

Garnet is possibly a name derived from the middle English term 'gernet' which means dark red. They are perceived to be a stone stone of purity and truth. It is also supposed to be a symbol of love and compassion. If you place a piece of garnet under a pillow it is believed that it can help to cure depression. Apparently placing three pieces of garnet on your desk can also help improve a business.

What I particularly like about demantoid garnet is it the vibrant green colour it possesses. My Grandmother who is a peridot fancier would love this stone so I thought I would share it with you today.

Demantoid garnet, a variety of andradite, is deemed the most rare and therefore valuable of the garnet family. This is due to its similarity to diamonds. For example, it's ability to disperse light into a rainbow spectrum as well as it's exceptional brilliance and fire. This is how it received it's name dermatoid which means diamond like.

This gemstone is found in Russia in the Ural Mountains with other deposit locations in Namibia, Italy, Iran, Afghanistan and Madagascar.

Shortly after its Russian discovery jewellery makers in Paris and New York began using it in their designs. However it was Russia's star jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé who shot this gemstone into popularity by creating stunning jewellery pieces with this gemstone. Carl Fabergé was jeweller and goldsmith to the Russian Imperial court and famously created the exquisite Fabergé eggs. Sadly due to its rarity and the Russian revolution the popularity of using it in Edwardian jewellery did not last very long.

The demantoid garnet has horsetail inclusions which can be seen as whispers of golden brown crystal threads of chrysotile through a microscope, which if pronounced beautifully enough can increase the value of the stone significantly. This seems an odd statement to make when you think how the clarity of a diamond is paramont but the inclusions of the Demantoid Garnet can be so beautiful in their own right. Unfortunately these are not present in the vibrant intense blue/green counterparts from Namibia. This makes the green garnets from Russia more sought after and valuable compared to the green garnets found elsewhere in the world.

Sadly we don't stock this gemstone at Rosewill Cottage but we will be sure to let you know when we do!

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