Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Garnets (I can't think of a witty title)

Chrysalis Jewelry Intern 
Facebook Fan Page
Etsy Shop 

Ah, Garnet.  That deep red gemstone that I'm sure some people out there know and love.  Like any gemstone worth talking about, it's pretty to look at and reflects and refracts light in interesting ways when cut.  And like a gemstone that isn't too fragile to actually use in jewelry, garnets range from 6.5 to 7.5.  Wait, garnets.  Plural.  You know what that means, right?

That means there's a whole Garnet family out there just waiting to be explored.  For our exploration today, we'll be looking at three members of the Garnet family.

and Demantoid

 But before any of that silliness, let's cover Garnets in general.  For all you science nerds out there, here's a model of Garnet's chemical structure.
And all the hippies said, "Eewww, chemicals D="

So yeah, when most people think of Garnets, they think of the red ones.  Well guess what peeps, there are actually color changing Garnets out there!  Unfortunately, still images of a color changing Garnet would be kinda boring, so I found you this video instead.  If for some reason you don't like videos, all you have to do is not watch it, and pretend that it's a picture.  Enjoy.
Unfortunately, these fancy things tend to be rare, and therefore expensive.  So if you happen to own one, please get a monocle and top hat, and refer to everyone who doesn't own these things as "peasants" and/or "peons".  The International Society of Humorous Snobbery thanks you for your time.

If, for some reason, you don't have that much money to spend on Garnet(s), there's always Yttrium Aluminum Garnets, or YAGs.  In the synthetic gemstone world, these puppies have been around for a while.  In fact, they were used as fake diamonds until the famous Cubic Zirconia came along.  And for you super-villains out there, YAGs can also be used in laser devices, but only if you add Neodymium a special secret ingredient.
Not Pictured: Death Ray Components

Well, then.  Now that we've got some interesting tidbits about Garnets in general out of the way, it's time to look at three specific varieties in detail.

 Yep, it's green.

Tsavorite is a Calcium-Aluminum Garnet, with the green color caused by a little bit of Vanadium or Chromium.  To date, this gem has only been found in Tanzania and Madagascar.  Most Tsavorite gems in existence weigh only a few carats.  This one, however, seems to be abnormally large.
Don't ask me how big these are (spoiler alert: probably smaller than they appear on your screen)
Here's one up close
This one must be tiny
Here's an interesting cut

Next Up,

Unlike Tsavorite, you can find this stuff all over the world. Also unlike Tsavorite, it seems like Spessartine doesn't get faceted as often.  If you ask me, though, that isn't really much of a problem.

They still look awesome when cut, of course.

Last, but not least, we have:

As it turns out, Demantoids are a variety of Andratite, which itself is a member of the Garnet family.  Demantoids were first discovered in Russia, and Russian Demantoids often contain inclusions called "Horsetails", which are often sought after as an indication of the gem's natural origin.  In other words, this is the stuff that makes these gems famous:
It's not just that this gem is natural, the inclusions look pretty good too.
An interesting comparison....

That's all for now, I suppose.  Stay Fancy, Chrysalis Fans.
Until Tomorrow
Chris the Intern

No comments:

Post a Comment