Red garnet has historically been a favorite of nobleman and royalty alike; its color, a display of their power and class. Garnet is most commonly seen in the jewelry trade as a dark red gemstone. However, garnet forms in many varieties including green, orange, yellow, red, purple, brown, black, blue, and colorless. Each of these colors belongs to subcategories of a large mineral group of twenty species called the garnet group.
The garnet species pyrope is mother to the deep red variety that is most commonly seen in the jewelry trade. In the trade, the red variety of pyrope is referred to as the Mozambique garnet, after the place from which it is commonly mined. Two other well-adored varieties belong to the pyrope species: the rhodalite garnet and the blue color-changing garnet. Rhodalite, Greek for rose, is a pinkish-red color. Blue garnet is the rarest of any garnet variety. It appears a grayish-blue color on average but can change from a blueish-green in daylight to a blueish-purple in incandescent light. It was only recently discovered in the late 1990s in Madagascar, but has since been found in Maine, California, Colorado, Russia, Tanzania, Turkey, and Kenya.
Garnet is a large mineral group of twenty species. However, only six are considered major species and only three of these six are necessary for a basic education in jewelry trade. These three are grossular, adradite, and pyrope. These species have subcategories of their own but this paragraph will focus on the few that are primarily used in jewelry. The garnet species grossular is responsible for a common green variety known as tsavorite. Tsavorite, in its richest green, appears as a light emerald. It is found in Tanzania as well as the place from where its name is derived: Tsavo, Kenya. Adradite is the garnet species that is responsible for a slightly more valuable variety of green garnet called demantoid. Demantoid has been dubbed the Emerald of the Urals, after the mountains from which it is most commonly found, and its strong resemblance to fine emerald.