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Garnets are a group of minerals that come in an array of colors. Most people are familiar with the almandite garnet, which is deep red in color. While almandite is common in jewelry, many do not realize that this is only one of over ten varieties mined throughout the world. There are also mixtures of varieties, including some color-changing types that are the only known garnets to come in blue tones.
Garnets are commonly composed of minerals such as magnesium, iron, calcium, and aluminum. Presence of other minerals like chromium or titanium can significantly affect color. Garnets in any color have a hardness of 6.5-7.5 on the Mohs scale. Though beautiful, care must be taken with these stones, and wearers should probably remove garnet jewelry before engaging in household chores.
Since garnets are fairly common, they are an excellent choice for those watching their pocket books. With multiple colors to choose from, a good quality stone can be selected for virtually any jewelry requirement. Red and pink varieties with good clarity may often be purchased in five to ten carat sizes, with the average price at 20-40 US dollars (USD) per carat.
For the lover of garnets, the following is a listing of a few garnet varieties:
Today, red garnets are the birthstone of January. Since garnets can be found in so many places, folklore concerning them is abundant. They are associated with healing, and some ancient cultures believed garnets could actually reduce inflammation. Garnets are thought to elevate mood and give the wearer strength and protection during troubled times. They also signify affection when exchanged between friends, and promise that those two friends will not be parted for long.