Garnets are among the most revered stones since the Bronze Age. The most common look of this stone is deep red or brownish as a subordinate hue. While red garnets are popular, it does mean that they are the only garnets available on the planet.
Indeed, garnets occur in different forms and colors, ranging right from yellow to pink and green. There are also some dynamic versions whose color changes from green to red and from greenish blue to purplish-red.
It is a fact that a green garnet is as timeless as red although it is quite uncommon. Comprehending what a garnet is technically complicated. Thus, this article is dedicated to eliminating this complexity.
To get the best benefits of green garnet, it is usually a good idea to wear it. The green garnet ring is the most popular choice.
In this article, lets explore this uncommon but powerful and stunning garnet in detail along with its meanings and properties so that you can decide how beneficial this stone is in jewelry.
What is Green Garnet
Garnets are gemstone species. They are not made using just a single mineral. In fact, they are a group of closely associated minerals available in different colors and chemical compositions.
The term “garnet” is derived from granatum, an old Latin word that stands for dark red. Another connotation is that its grainy or granulated form is similar to pomegranate seeds. This applies to red garnets.
Garnets as a group are commonly found in a few igneous as well as highly metamorphosed rock formations. They are formed naturally amidst high temperatures or pressures, which these rocks are capable of withstanding. They are highly variable in colors and varieties, of which many are rare and beautiful.
One such rare and brilliantly stunning garnet is a green garnet. It is composed of calcium, aluminum, silicate and fits into the grossular and andradite categories of garnet. There are two green garnets and they belong to the grossular and tsavorite types.
The grossularite garnet is typically yellow-green, golden-green, or olive-green, while the Tsavorite is chrome green.
Types of Garnet
When it comes to garnets, most people think of ordinary red garnets such as pyrope and almandine. However, the garnet crystals are amazingly diverse. You can find them in nearly any color. Indeed, some are colorless.
The garnet group is typically split into six categories or species namely, almandite, pyrope, andradite, spessartite, grossular, and uvarovite. They all have a common crystal structure but differ a bit in terms of chemical compositions.
Several species are in green. They are among the finest green gems. Green garnets are seen in grossular, uvarovite, and andradite types.
While green is the most common color of grossular, it can also be in yellow, orange, red, and gold. Tsavorite is the rarest in the grossular category and has a rich emerald green color. The brilliant green appearance is believed to be due to the traces of vanadium and/or chromium. A fine grossularite with this chemical composition is a tsavorite garnet.
Although rarer, tsavorite is now a famous alternative to the emerald. The more common grossularite possesses its own charms and exhibits brilliance akin to tsavorite.
This is because of the refractive index that is in between spinel and sapphire. The lighter colors of this stone feature better dispersion (fire). The stone is one of the recently found green garnets.
A famous Scottish geologist, Campbell R. Bridges, discovered it in 1967 in Tanzania. He then found a second deposit in 1971 in Kenya’s Tsavo area. Thus, the stone has its name as tsavorite.
The green demantoid garnet is the rarest of not only all garnets but also of all gemstones. Its fine versions are among the most expensive stones, with several dollars per carat. It belongs to the andradite type, which is composed of calcium iron silicate.
Demantoid’s vivid green color is the most esteemed one. This green stone is known for its remarkable brilliance and fire. Most green garnets, particularly demantoid, are seen in small sizes only. Specimens more than a carat in terms of weight are unusual. In fact, stones weighing more than two carats are rare.
A hybrid of andradite and grossularite is known as Mali and is a newly discovered green garnet in 1994 in West Africa’s Mali. Being lighter than demantoid in color, it is treasured for its fire and rarity.
The color is likely to be yellow, greenish-yellow, brown, and yellowish brown. The lighter colors exhibit more dispersion. Generally, the greenish variations are preferred over other colors.
Color-change garnets are a blend of spessartite and pyrope garnets. They show different colors during the day and when amidst incandescent lights.
The collectors tend to value these stones due to the rare color-changing phenomenon. Although many colors change, bluish green or green to purple or red is the most dramatic.
It is believed that garnets have been in use for more than 5,000 years. They are among the most ancient talismans and are valued for their healing ability and protective energies.
Garnets were in use since the Bronze Age in Egypt (around 3000 B.C) wherein they were among the amulets and talismans and were kept with the dead. They were popular in ancient Egypt, Roman, and ancient Greek civilizations.
Around 400 B.C., the Greeks were wearing these gemstones as signet rings. Garnet jewelry items of approximately 2000 B.C. have been preserved in Sweden.
The Old Testament specifies that a garnet stone was used to lighten the path of Noah’s ark in the dark. In the Middle era, garnets were believed to be a symbol of faith, truth, and protection from poisoning. When the Crusades were there, garnets were used as talismans against the foes.
Garnets are also believed to protect the wearer. Medieval soldiers wore them for protection from wounds and as lucky talismans to attract victory. It is also believed that, even before that, King Solomon wore them while on the battleground.
In medieval times, these stones were used for relieving depression, discarding bad dreams, and easing liver disorders as well as arthritis. Garnets have embellished several royal apparel, including those of Queen Victoria and the wives of the Russian Tsars.
The meaning of grossular garnets or green garnets is all about self-empowerment, powerful Mother Earth connection due to green color, and hope. It also encompasses gratitude, prosperity, purity, love, richness, and compassion.
The term grossular is derived from gooseberry’s botanical name, grossularia. The gooseberry color and light green shades of green garnets are pretty similar.
Garnets are formed when transformations take place in silicate perlites possessing a temperature of more than 450 degrees Celsius. When the temperature is low, the resulting garnet crystals have much spessartine that then converts into almandine at higher temperatures.
At around 900 degrees Celsius, this gemstone breaks down and becomes quartz and spinel. Garnets typically crystallize as cubic crystals and almost form as a rhombic dodecahedron. They are translucent but can be opaque due to some impurities present. The brightness is noticeable in glassy to fat-like versions.
Green garnets are typically semi-opaque although they can be lucid and transparent with great lustrous faces. They possess no cleavage. It is common to make cabochons out of them or give an oval or blended cut to its facet.
Demantoid garnets are highly lustrous and contain characteristic horsetail inclusions. These vibrant green garnets possess brilliance and fire similar to diamonds. Their hardness rating on Moh’s scale is 6 to 7. It is usually found in antique jewelry. On the other hand, tsavorites are more brilliant in color and have a hardness level of 7.0 – 7.5.
Both these green garnets have a high refractive index but that of demantoid is higher to make it the brightest of all the garnets, rubies, and sapphires. Demantoids also features remarkable dispersion that is more than that of a diamond. Indeed, the term demantoid itself stands for ‘diamond-like’.
Green garnets are known to possess spiritual energies that kindle regeneration as well as overall life development. They are believed to be powerful amulets that attract joy, good health, prosperity, positive energies, and abundance.
They ground psychic energy and aids in manifesting good fortune in all worldly endeavors. Green garnets are known to activate the heart chakra, stirring charity and compassion.
Just as rubies, garnets attract wealth due to which they are kept in accessories such as bags and purses. This is why they are also used in spellcraft. Both stones facilitate being grateful and confident for making beneficial decisions to flourish, especially in business.
Garnets are also believed to regenerate internal body mechanisms via purification. They are also capable of balancing emotional disharmony and instilling improved visualization power.
Tsavorites are interpreted to be the stones of prosperity, anti-anxiety, and financial prosperity. They are also called natural stress relievers and are believed to give happiness as well as determine the true life path. Crystal healers use these stones for accelerating the healing process. They are also likely to address heart ailments.
Where to Buy Green Garnet?
Usually Etsy or Amazon is a good idea. Etsy is the leading online global marketplace of handmade, vintage, and creative goods. Amazon is one of the largest global online marketplaces. Both of them are reliable and easy to find your favorite items there.
Green Garnet in Jewelry Uses
The hardness, stunning and pure hues of green, purity, and rareness of green garnets appeal to both jewelry fans and gem collectors alike. Green garnets in their raw form are costly but when faceted into a stone or cut into beads or cabochons, they give us affordable alternatives.
As per the visible inclusions and opaque or translucent clarity, green garnets are transformed into cabochons, sculptures, briolette, and chips.
Considering its medium hardness, a green garnet is used in different jewelry items such as rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and pendants. You can even easily come across green garnet engagement rings, especially online. A few rare and valuable varieties are stored by collectors.
Regarded as ideal for minimalist jewelry, garnets are just ideal for a distinct look. In earrings, you can have them as studs or in a dangling pattern. A tennis bracelet or a pendant made up of a green garnet is an elegant and classy way to add a vibrant touch and make a unique style statement.
A cocktail ring featuring a green garnet is a great way to grab attention. When coupled with a garnet necklace, you make up for a strikingly confident look.
Tsavorite with a good hardness level on the Moh’s scale is pretty durable and apt for all jewelry types. Further, its high refractive index as well as dispersion levels make it extraordinarily sparkling.
Green garnets can be cut to form a variety of shapes to set in different jewelry pieces. Their prices range from low to high, of which the latter is for the rarer varieties. With its striking classiness and diverse price tags, green garnets are ideal for any kind of jewelry.
Where Does Green Garnet Come From?
Green garnets come from nations such as Italy, Kenya, Tanzania, the United States, Brazil, Russia, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and Switzerland.
Tsavorites are commonly obtained from Kenya and Tanzania. They are also occasionally seen in Madagascar. The rare chrome green version is found in east Africa between Tanzania and Kenya. These two countries remain the primary mining sites for tsavorites.
Malia garnets are also found in Tanzania apart from Madagascar. Demantoid garnets are found in Russia and are distinguished by distinct inclusions of byssolite featuring a horsetail pattern.
Some demantoid garnets also come from Africa but do not have horsetail inclusions and are relatively less expensive. Color-changing garnets come from Kenya and Madagascar and have prices per karat differing in terms of size, clarity, and color.
How Much Is Green Garnet Worth?
As a majority of mined green garnets are less than a carat, they demand higher sale prices for larger and rare forms. The physical properties and rarity of demantoids make them expensive.
A small layer has been recently found in Namibia but has no trademark horsetail inclusion due to which it is a more affordable alternative to the genuine Demantoid garnet of Russia. Even tsavorite garnets are valuable due to their rarity and physical properties.
The value of a green garnet is affected by a mix of its color, clarity, carat weight, and cut.
How to Identify Green Garnet?
Garnets are available in every color. The easiest way to know whether a green gemstone is a green garnet or not is by eye. Then, perform the following tests:
- Look via the stone. If you see lots of inclusions, blurred spots, or clouding, it is perhaps not a garnet.
- Pick and hold the stone close to your eye such that the blinking eyelashes tend to touch it. Doing this ensures that you can look via the table that is the top portion of a faceted stone. Now, view through the table under the rays of a bright light such as sunlight or a lamp that is six feet away. The refractive properties of the green garnet will result in rainbows.
- Spin and rotate the stone in front of your eye and fix it on a large rainbow. If it is a green garnet, you will see bands of rainbow colors namely, red, yellow, orange, green, and blue. If you do not see yellow or green bands, it is perhaps a ruby and not a garnet. Garnets are capable of exhibiting almost every rainbow color.
- Observe the stone in artificial as well as natural light. A genuine garnet will change colors in these lights.
- Conduct a hardness test. Scratch the stone with steel or quartz. Steel’s and quartz’s hardness rating is of 5 on the Mohs scale, while that of garnet is 7 to 7.5. Thus, if the stone is a garnet, it will scratch steel but steel should not scratch the garnet. Garnet will not scratch quartz and neither quartz will scratch garnet.
How to Use Green Garnet?
Green garnets can be worn daily as necklaces and rings. The only exception here is the demantoid garnet that is more apt for pins and necklaces. Try wearing green garnets with different apparel colors – a contract of dark green with any light color looks spectacular.
You can even wear it by embedding it in your ring or carrying it near your heart, as it is likely to positively affect it along with the heart chakra.
Wearing it near your heart or auric fields will bring down work conflicts and avert unhealthy competition. You can even place it in different areas of your home or office as gemstones to stay surrounded by positive energies.
Green garnet is believed to transmit its qualities via the eyes of the one who is wearing it. Thus, you can wear it wherever you go to positively influence all those who interact with you.
How to Cleanse Green Garnet?
Hardness varies as per the stone variety. However, green garnets are durable and you can wear them daily. However, care must be taken while cleaning the gemstone.
You should not use a steam machine or an ultrasonic cleaner. Ultrasonic cleaning is fine to use only when the stone is free of liquid inclusions.
Rather, soapy water and a soft brush (toothbrush) are sufficient to clean your garnet jewel. Putting the jewel every fortnight under running lukewarm water will also cleanse it well. Then, with a soft cloth only, dry the stone.
Store each piece always in a soft cloth if the stone is not a part of the jewelry and place it separately from other stones or gemstone jewelry. This is essential to keep scratches away.
It is vital to note that this stone can get damaged if exposed to chemicals such as hydrofluoric acid. Although garnets are less hard than rubies, they keep shining for long with consistent care.
Green Garnet vs. Emerald
When embedded in jewelry, it is tough to indicate the difference between an expensive emerald and a rare, costly tsavorite. However, the latter’s color can compete with that of emerald.
Unlike emerald, green garnets such as tsavorites usually have fewer inclusions. At times, they are likely to be flawless although they are rarer than emeralds. Both are vibrant options with the same hardness scale and consequently the same level of scratch resistance, emerald is less tough. Yes, tsavorite is tougher, and still, emeralds are more popular.
Emeralds are usually densely included due to which they are more susceptible to cracking, chipping, or breaking if exposed to coarse wear. They are typically treated with oils to seal fractures and boost general stability.
On the other hand, green garnets are not heavily included and are stronger in terms of breakage resistance. They are also not treated in any way.
Unlike green garnets, emeralds known for their typical hue are not famous in terms of fire or brilliance. Thus, they can look subdued, which is evident when used with diamonds.
Green garnets usually possess a higher refractive index than emeralds and even have the highest dispersion level due to which both fire and brilliance are higher. When combined with diamonds, green garnets are unbelievably sparkling.
Emeralds are costlier than green garnets, especially tsavorites. While available copiously, emeralds are pricier due to their demand based on the belief of a precious gemstone. If the look is on priority without any strict budget, the tsavorite is for you.
The Best Combination to Use With Green Garnet
Green garnets tend to attract richness and prosperity when you use them with other stones of prosperity such as turquoise, tree agate, aqua aura quartz, and aventurine.
You can also pair them with diamonds, topaz, jade, moss agate, mahogany, smoky quartz, and epidote. For boosting confidence, just use it with moonstone, jade, or rhodonite jade.
For assisting your manifestation, just combine the green stone with citrine, Oregon opal, malachite, lapis lazuli, and garden quartz. It can also be combined with emerald green calcite, carnelian, dolomite, and moldavite.
Garnets pair best with metals of silver color such as diamonds. For a vintage style, opt for the combination of gold metal and green garnet.
Tsavorite genuinely pops when paired with diamonds due to a high refractive index. Even with platinum, it looks striking.
A high-quality garnet in green color can cost a fortune but there are many affordable jewelry options too. Consider this gemstone when you are experiencing difficult times or wish to develop a new life.