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).
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.
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.
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 CourtneyFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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