John and Laura Ramsey write: Spessartite Another Color

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spessartine photo

In previous posts we have talked about the lighter orange color in Spessartite. The stone in the photo is another color variant of Spessartite. This other color is a nice red-orange. The red-orange color is more affordable but in large sizes as this example still quite unusual.

This stone, from a while ago in our lives, is about 36+ carats. From time to time we like to illustrate the fact that many times even the less expensive color in a gem can often be really quite beautiful. Gem collecting doesn’t have to be exclusively for the rich and famous. Delving in a little deeper, Spessartine is a variety of garnet. Garnet is a group of minerals. All garnets are silicates, crystalize in the isometric system and are singly refractive. People sometimes ask “why don’t you call it Spessartine garnet.” The question is best answered by an example. We don’t, for instance, call a Blue-Jay a “Blue-Jay bird” or an Eagle an “Eagle bird.” It is understood that a Blue-Jay and an Eagle are birds. The only difference is that most people are not familiar with Spessartine.

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Birthstone Spotlight: January Garnets

Garnet ring

Garnets are actually a group of minerals that have a lot in common. As the world becomes more and more gem-savvy, more people are coming to know the wonders of garnet.

First of all, garnets are all silicate minerals and crystallize in the isometric crystal system (also known as the cubic crystal system). The most common crystal form within the isometric system in which Garnets form is a “rhombic dodecahedron:” a 12 sided form that is somewhat of a cube with fanciful flourishes. While a true cube has 6 sides, garnets add another 6 just for fun.

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