Since prices depend on nuances in color and chemistry, understanding the quality factors for this gem is essential for garnet buying.

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

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 range of red hues, almandine gems are less expensive than their rarer cousins. They also possess a hardness of 7-7.5. While this variety sometimes occurs in large sizes, larger stones are often too dark to be gem quality. Faceted gems are generally eye clean.

Andradite

With high dispersion and limited deposits, andradites are the most highly sought garnet species. While this variety has a lower hardness, 6.5-7,…