What are Garnets?
Garnets in the gem-world are the most underrated gemstone, with the general population’s perception skewing due to the use of garnets to imitate other gemstones, yet is not as valuable. However, Garnets also have a certain beauty to them, allowing them to don some of the world’s most famous pieces of jewellery such as The Winter Egg.
The Garnet is among the list of the world’s hardest stones, with a hardness ranging between 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs’ scale of hardness. Thus making it most suitable for use in jewellery. To ensure it’s durability, people in the gem world, whether it may be merchants, lapidarists and jewellers, take special care to see that its original quality is maintained for a long time.
Mozambique and Quality Garnets
There are a variety of famous Garnet deposits around the world and Mozambique is a major producer. Mozambique Garnet primarily originate from the mines of Cuamba in Mozambique’s Niassa Province and displays an incomparable and timeless beauty, and is also yet so affordable. Excellently cut Mozambique garnets reflect their inner beauty, with an eye-clean finish. In addition, they are also of the highest quality and clarity grade for coloured gemstones, varying from a wonderfully transparent to a clear appearance, as determined by the world’s leading gemological laboratories. Despite its high quality it is challenging to obtain consistently, due to its rarity as the country’s only mined semi-precious gemstone.
Mozambique Garnets are simply amazing, with a specific set of unique features, making them stand out from the rest. Firstly, on physical appearance, ease of cutting, the heft of the stone, and secondly on appearance, clarity and hardness.
The garnets originating from Mozambique have a purple to red colour range. The colour is similar to the colour of autumn leaves littering the streets, during the Indian Summer in North America. The stones are exceptionally brilliant owing to their high refractive index. When light passes through, a bright coloured light sparkles from it.
The clarity of the stone, whether it contains any inclusions or not, is also a major factor. A stone may appear very clear, especially when observing without the use of magnification tools. To the naked eye the stone is completely clean due to its solid nature and saturation of colour. Although this is true to some extent, in actuality stones are not totally clean due to the existence of certain included material whose appearance is shuttered by the deep and even colour of the garnet.
According to the Gemmological Institute of America, the Garnet is ranked second in the grading system for mineral clarity. When the number of inclusions increases in the stone, its value consequently decreases. This is mainly due to the simultaneous decrease in the stone’s hardness. Therefore, a beautifully coloured garnet with fewer inclusions alludes to a higher price than a similar garnet with more inclusions.
Size and Cut: The Usual
Additionally, the mineral is available to customers in various shapes and sizes depending on the taste of the wearer. Most of the iconic cut shapes include rounds, ovals, octagons, hearts, trillions, as well as many more. The outstanding style portrayed by the Mozambique garnet is that of the checkerboard design. Similarly, the most significant sizes of the mineral are also available both in large and small quantities. Just like its shape, the proportions are also designed to meet specific standards. For example, the archetypal size ranges between three to nine millimetres in diameter, particularly for oval and round shapes.
The size also goes hand-in-hand with the resultant weight, adding significant value to the price of the stone. Thus, larger sizes are more expensive due to their overall weight. Those stones that range between three and nine millimetres can weigh between 0.5 to 4 carats.
To successfully estimate the value of the stone, always ensure you check on its features using magnifying tools. Similarly, ensure that the attached price is relatedly significant to the overall size of the stone. Garnet does not undergo any treatment in the mining and the lapidary process and is a completely natural gemstone.
Garnets are beautiful gemstones, whose stability and saturation of colour is simply unparalleled. With Mozambique being a capital for the mining of Garnets, its quality and clarity is stunning. Cut to specific proportions or to a liking of your own, a Garnet could be your next calling for your jewellery to be worn on your finger.
The Winter Egg 2017, Photograph, History Answers UK, viewed 26 May 2019, <https://www.historyanswers.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Faberg%C3%A9%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9CWinter-Egg%E2%80%9D-of-1913-983x1024.jpg>.
Mozambique 2018, Map, Nations Online Project, viewed 26 May 2019, <https://www.nationsonline.org/maps/Mozambique_map.jpg>.