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American Gems
 
Color   Consistent purple red
   
Gem Family   Grape Garnet is a unique pyrope-almandine member of the garnet family.
   
Source   This rare purple-red garnet is mined only in the State of Orissa on the Bay of Bengal in eastern India. Mining of the alluvial deposit is done by hand using small tools like picks and shovels.
   
Clarity   All Grape Garnets are free of eye-visible inclusions.
   
Size Range   0.3 carat to 3.0 carats. Large sizes are very rare.
   
Shapes Available   Ovals, cushions, checkerboards, round brilliants, trillions, princess cuts, and opposed bars.
   
Enhancement   The rich purple of rare Grape Garnet is the exact color of the rough removed from the mine. It is not enhanced in any way.
   
Lore & History   Garnets in legend light up the night and protect their owners from nightmares. This gem was carried by ancient travelers to protect against accidents far from home. Garnet is the birthstone for January. The name Grape Garnet was derived from its intense purple-red color: it will remind you of the ruddy grape glow of a fine merlot wine. It was actually named at the breakfast table: Columbia Gem House's president Eric Braunwart was pouring his daughter Alixandra's favorite juice when he noticed a striking color resemblance to the new garnet he was trying to name.
   
Toughness & Hardness   Grape Garnet has a hardness of 7.25 on the Mohs scale and it is quite tough.
   
Care & Cleaning   Garnet is very durable but try to avoid direct impact to the gemstone. Clean with warm water, detergent, and a soft brush. Grape Garnet can be put in ultrasonic or steam cleaners.
   
Price Range   $60 to $180 per carat. Exceptionally fine gems can command even higher per carat prices.
   
Special Characteristics   Grape Garnet has an unusually high refractive index of 1.79 or higher. This gives these gems exceptional brilliance. Only a very small portion of garnet mined in India meets the stringent criteria of rare Grape Garnet. These gems must be a consistent purple-red color, extremely well cut, and free of eye visible inclusions so the amazing brilliance of the gem can shine through.