Garnet comes from the Latin word, “granatus” which means grain. That is because many Garnet deposits are small grains of red crystals in or on their host rock.
Garnets have several species, as well as several varieties including Pyrope, Almandine, Spessartite, Andradite, Grossularite and Hydrogrossular.
The most popular type of garnet is the dark red variety, which are a mixture of pyrope and almandine. Pyrope comes from a Greek word meaning “fire like.”
Another popular garnet is chrome pyrope, whose color rivals ruby and which is found in Arizona, where ants bring them to the surface. Hence, they are dubbed, “ant hill garnets.”
While their colour is superb, they are generally very dark in tone and the gemstones are rarely faceted in sizes over one carat.
Any gem that changes colour is a rare find and a treat for collectors. Garnets exhibit the widest variety of colour changes in the gem world, with almost every hue exhibited.
It is commonly said that garnets come in every colour of the rainbow except blue. This is still true in natural light, but there are recent discoveries of garnets that turn blue in artificial light. Their primary source is Africa.