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American Gems
 
Color   Orange red to purplish red
   
Gem Family   Red garnet is a pyrope or almandine member of the garnet group.
   
Source   Brazil, India, Madagascar, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and the United States.
   
Clarity   Red garnets have are generally free from eye-visible inclusions.
   
Size Range   Red garnets have are generally free from eye-visible inclusions.
   
Shapes Available   Ovals, cushions, checkerboards, round brilliants, trillions, princess cuts, and opposed bars. Fine red garnet is occasionally available in Radial Cuts, which add to the brilliance of large sizes.
   
Enhancement   Red garnet is the exact color of the rough removed from the mine. It is not enhanced in any way.
   
Lore & History   Because many ancient pieces of garnet jewelry are studded with tiny red stones that resemble a cluster of pomegranate seeds, scholars believe the name garnet derives from the Latin for pomegranate. In the ancient world, garnet was known as "carbuncle." 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. Traditional Bohemian garnet jewelry, very popular in the Victorian age and still collected today, is set with many small red garnets clustered like the seeds of a pomegranate. Garnet is the birthstone for January.
   
Toughness & Hardness   Red garnet has a hardness of 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale and it is quite tough.
   
Care & Cleaning   Garnet is very durable but try to avoid direct impact to the gemstone or abrupt temperature change. Clean with warm water, detergent, and a soft brush.
   
Price Range   $10 to $50 per carat.
   
Special Characteristics   Some tiny but firey red pyrope garnet is actually mined by ants. Called anthill garnet, these small gems are found in heaps around the nests of ants in the Arizona desert.