Blogs: On Your Market / Colored Stones

Orange You Impressed? It’s Spessartine Garnet!


There is so much more to garnet than the rusty red variety so many consumers are familiar with. From a juicy cranberry hue to a brilliant green, those celebrating January birthdays have quite an impressive range of colors to choose from (I covered a variety of garnets here on JCK this time last year).

Picchiotti spessartite garnet brooch
Floral brooch in 18k white gold with 28.67 ct. unheated spessartite garnet and 26.39 cts. t.w. diamonds, price on request; Picchiotti
Atelier Wolff mandarin garnet ring
On the Edges, On the Margins ring in 22k yellow gold and platinum with mandarin garnet, $9,800; Atelier Wolff

One such variety is spessartine garnet, which serves as a blanket term for the range of orange tones, sometimes appearing a bit yellowish too. Some of the most delicious versions of the gem are often labeled as spessartite: orange like a pumpkin or a juicy winter citrus, which would account for the label of mandarin garnet—a particularly bold and bright shade of orange.

Nouvel Heritage garnet earrings
Earrings in 18k yellow gold with garnets and diamonds, $1,900; Nouvel Heritage
Lindsey Scoggins garnet ring
Oath gypsy link ring in 18k yellow gold with 5.1 ct. spessartite garnet, $9,500; Lindsey Scoggins

According to GIA, it’s helpful to think of garnet in terms of color, because the gem is so complex—way more complex than I thought. It isn’t simply a green garnet or a purple garnet, as you may label some other gemstones. It’s a variety of different minerals that make the stones appear as such, of which there are quite a few (one of them spessartine), and some are not even used in jewelry.

Nak Armstrong spessartite earrings
Tote earrings in 20k recycled rose gold with spessartite garnets and rubellite, $7,850; Nak Armstrong
Jen Volkodav spessartite garnet Halle ring
Halle ring in sterling silver and 14k gold with 4.57 ct. spessartite garnet, $549; Jen Volkodav Jewelry

Orange isn’t always everyone’s favorite color—it doesn’t have the same universal appeal that a blue or green might—but it can be hard to deny the allure of just the right shade of orange. Despite its warmth, it remains juicy and quenching, the perfect antidote to a summer’s heat—and, somehow, a winter’s chill.

Top: Lotus ring in 18k yellow gold with 15.33 ct. mandarin garnet and 3.02 cts. t.w. diamonds, $150,000; Erica Courtney

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By: Brittany Siminitz

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