With so many color options and a wide range of prices, choosing a garnet can be daunting. In fact, the term “garnet” covers a large group of minerals on a spectrum of chemical composition. Available in nearly every color, the January birthstone can fit into any wardrobe. Its common varieties are affordable, and the rarer specimens within the garnet group are a thrill for collectors. Since prices depend on nuances in color and chemistry, understanding the quality factors for this gem is essential for your next garnet buying trip.

Garnet Varieties and Blends

First, the species or variety of garnet can impact price and the gem’s use in jewelry. In reality, a stone is a blend of the end-member chemistry. However, these terms will help you understand why some garnets are much more valuable than others. Learn to identify the different species of garnet.

The IGS garnet value listing has price guidelines for each gem-quality variety of garnet, as well as cat’s eye and star garnets.


Almandine is the most common garnet gemstone. In fact, the deep red color coveted in garnets usually represents a mixture of almandine and pyrope. Available in standard sizes and a wide…