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Buying Garnets

Color is most important when determining the value of garnet. Lively, bright colors usually command higher prices than gems that are too light or dark. But remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and color preferences are subjective. Of course, clarity, cut and carat weight also factor into the cost of a gem. Better quality garnets are usually eye clean and very high clarity (not many inclusions) under magnification.

Almandine and pyrope (and a mix of the two) are the most common types of garnet on the market. Their widespread availability makes them extremely affordable (under $40 a carat). Rhodolite, particularly in its reddish colors, and spessartite in its bright orange red, are more uncommon and therefore more valuable than pyrope and almandine. Spessartite is commonly called Mandarin garnet because in its best color it resembles mandarin oranges.

The most rare and valuable of the garnet species are tsavorite (green grossular) and demantoid (green andradite). Tsavorite--in a lively, strong, bright green color--can command several hundreds of dollars per cart depending on quality and size. Demantoid, considered the queen of garnet, has exceptional brilliance, a higher dispersion than diamond, and a lustrous emerald-green color. A fine demantoid can command several thousands of dollars per carat depending on its size and quality. Demantoids are softer than other garnets, and must be protected from scratches and abrasions.

Demantoids have been very hard to find ever since its exclusive Russian sources dried up. A new Namibian mine has brought them back, but just barely. Alrashid Cyber Mall carries some excellent tsavorite and spessartite samples in our

 

 

 

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