Garnet is a fitting way to start the New Year. Not only because it’s January’s birthstone, but also because according to legend, it has the power to give those who wear it eternal happiness, health, and wealth. Its perceived healing properties are vast.
Legend has it that garnet can bring peace, prosperity, and good health to the home. It’s been called the “Gem of Faith,” as there were some who believed that those who wore it and do good would have more good come their way. On the other hand, there were those that believed if you wore it and committed bad acts, you’d have bad fortune.
It was also known as a “Stone of Health.” Some believed that garnet could remove negative energy from the chakras and purify vital organs and blood. It was used as a talisman for protection by warriors going into battle and those who wanted to ward off diseases. Some ancient healers even placed garnets in wounds, praising its healing powers.
Garnet is so durable that jewelry dating back to the Bronze Age has been found. Egyptians also used garnet as far back as 3100 BC as inlays in jewelry and carvings. They believed it was the symbol of life and was used to honor their Goddess of War, Sekhmet.
Garnet has also symbolized a deep and lasting friendship. This makes it a great reason to give garnet jewelry as a special gift for someone whose friendship you deeply value!
Pantone has officially announced it’s 2019 Color of the Year as “Living Coral” (16-1546)!
This bold, energetic, and dynamic color is sure to liven things up for the New Year! Pantone calls Living Coral “sociable and spirited” and says that it is a nurturing color. It’s a blended hue of orange and pink, creating a bright spot in our everyday lives.
The first known written use of the word “coral” to describe a color was in 1513, and the use of “coral pink” was in 1892. The term “coral” for color has been used to described reds, oranges, and pinks, as well as mixed colors from those components.
Cheerful and shocking, coral lends itself well to all aspects of décor, graphic design, and fashion. In fact, you’ll find several gemstones that display this bright, bold, and beautiful color!
Padparadscha sapphire and Rhodochrosite match Living Coral almost perfectly, with their lively blend of just the right amount of pink and orange.
Padparadscha sapphire and diamond ring, by Omi Privé.
Rhodochrosite & Emerald Necklace, from the Lisa Bridge Collection at Ben Bridge Jeweler.
Padparadscha is a high-energy stone with an exotic look. The name comes from the Sanskrit word for “lotus.” And indeed, some lotus blossoms exhibit Living Coral excellently!
Rhodochrosite embodies the feeling of Living Coral with its color and the belief that it is a powerful stone for opening your heart once more. It is said to heal emotional wounds and be a guide for finding love.
Other gemstones that depict shades of Living Coral are additional sapphire colors, and some hues of topaz and spinel, as well as certain garnets.
Pink spinel and diamond ring, by JupiterGem.
Lotus garnet and diamond pendant, by Parle Gems.
Living Coral reminds us that the world around us is alive, filled with wonder and magic, if we only take a few moments to look. The color dives deep into our hearts, beckoning an appreciation for life’s moments and worthwhile memories.
According to Pantone, they chose this color for that very reason. In a world so immersed in technology, we all seek connections. Living Coral is a delight to the eyes and a light to the heart.
Happy New Year!
Jewelry images by credentialed AGS members. Visit ags.org/findajeweler to find an AGS jeweler near you.
Isabelle Corvin is an AGS Certified Gemologist (CG) who is the Staff Gemologist at Panowicz Jewelers. Since she was 14-years-old, she knew she wanted to be a gemologist. Ms. Corvin also writes for Panowicz Jewelers’ blog.
By Alethea Inns, CGA,
Director of Gemology and Education, American Gem Society
Buying jewelry can be intimidating—it’s a bit like buying a home. It’s a big purchase and you need help from qualified professionals—that you trust—to close the deal. And it’s an emotional purchase; it can represent a big life change.
This is experience talking. I recently bought my first house. It was scary. How was I supposed to spend so much money on something that was so unknown? I had the comps, knew the area, knew the specs of the house and all the data and statistics. But that wasn’t enough. How did I know if there weren’t issues that I couldn’t see? What if the foundation was cracked, or there was mold behind the walls? What if there was a weird smell no one knew the cause of?
That’s why I brought in the experts. I had an amazing real estate agent who knew the area and even researched the owners. I had an appraiser that was ethical who refused to raise the appraised value of the house beyond what he thought was fair. I had an inspector who I trusted to come in and point out every little issue that could be a problem later on.
These professionals were people that I trusted. I knew they had their professional credentials and licenses. They were experts in their fields and most importantly, upheld standards of practice.
These jewelers are AGS titleholders, which means they are professionals who have pre-requisite gemological or jewelry industry education, verified by the AGS, and then tested by the AGS in their proficiency to grade diamonds. Not only that, they are required to write a Recertification Exam every year to ensure they are up-to-date on the most recent developments in the jewelry industry. If they do not take the annual exam, they cannot maintain their title.
More than being knowledgeable, AGS titleholders are also required to sign an ethics agreement every year and are required to uphold the AGS standards for protecting you, the customer, every day, and in every interaction.
Why shop with an AGS jeweler?
For the same reason you see a certified professional accountant (CPA) to do your taxes, or a doctor that not only has a medical degree, but has their board certification, or the reason you rely on experts with any major purchase, investment, or life event.
An AGS jeweler is there to protect you, their customer. They are there to give you the information you need to make an informed buying decision. Yes, they are there to sell you jewelry, but more than that, they are there to share their passion for jewelry and help you celebrate the moments and reason you walked into their store in the first place.
Ask your jeweler, “Are you an AGS jeweler?” If not, find one that is.
As a credentialed gemologist, Alethea has some favorite gemstones, although it’s not easy to narrow the list down to just a few. Click below to get a closer look at these beautiful gems!
Cushion cut pink spinel and diamond ring, by Omi Privé.
The 18k gold “Eva” ring features Paraíba tourmaline, demantoid garnet, and diamonds, by Erica Courtney.
This ring, by Le Vian, features Chocolate Diamonds® and Vanilla Diamonds®.
Russian demantoid and diamond ring, by Michael Schofield & Co.
“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.” – William Shakespeare
Now that spring has arrived, we look forward to the signs of renewal. From fastidiously cleaning our homes and joyously changing out our wardrobe to reconnecting with family and friends for a spring holiday or wedding. It’s easy to love this time of year!
Even our jewelry is complementing the seasonal spectrums, with soft pastels and bright, happy colors. Here are some spring-inspired styles from a few of our American Gem Society (AGS) members.
Light purple amethyst and white diamond ring, by Estenza.
Bracelet from the “Amazon Breeze” collection, Doves by Doron Paloma.
Vine drop earrings with peridot and diamonds, by NEI Group.
Bluebonnet pendant with sapphires, diamonds, and tsavorite garnets, by Kirk Root Designs.
Mint garnet and diamond pendant, by Parlé.
“Sonoma Skies” chain bracelet featuring amethyst, by Tacori.
Pink sapphire and diamond studs, by Omi Privé.
Le Vian ring featuring 14K Strawberry Gold® Papaya Morganite™, Peach Morganite™, Sea Blue Aquamarine®, and Nude Diamonds™.
We’ve all got that extra spring in our step thanks to the warmer weather and the chance to don the colors of the season in our homes, wardrobe, and fine jewelry! Search for an AGS-credentialed jeweler near you and they’ll help you find the perfect piece for any springtime occasion.
Born the first month of the year, you get to start with a celebration of life. Ignore the dreary weather with a warm garnet as your birthstone!
A somewhat under-appreciated jewel, garnets hold a mystery and allure all their own. A group of closely related species, the garnet family of gems is vast and varied.
Everything from classic Pyrope and Almandite; the traditional reds, from dark to light, sometimes slightly brownish, to Rhodolite, a shy little stone with flirty edges of purple added to red
Then there are members like cool Tsavorite, the vivid to minty green rebel striking out and being different
Demantoid, the fun-loving gem in yellowish-green colors with fire like a diamond
Don’t forget Spessartite, the flashy and robust gem of bright orange
And Hessanite, a softer, “honey” color, often hiding amid the rest of the group
In fact, Garnets come in every shade BUT blue!
Garnets in a variety of colors by Underwood’s Fine Jewelry.
Throughout history, garnets have been known as stones of warmth, strength, and mystery. The most common color, a deep red, was popular in many cultures and used in a variety of items—not just jewelry.
It was the most popular stone for adornment and inlays in the late Antique Roman period, and a strand of garnet beads was found in an Egyptian tomb dating back some 5,000 years.
It was said to be a stone of valor, that wearing it as an amulet gave someone strength and enhanced bravery. It was also connected with love due to the color, and no surprise, it was associated with the element of fire.
There is a legend that Noah didn’t use lanterns in the Ark—he hung garnets. They were said to glow due to their inner fire and throughout the entire voyage of the ark, stayed lit.
In more modern times, garnets are associated with Capricorn, the zodiac sign, and are believed to help with strengthening both emotions and the physical.
AG Gems designed these tsavorite garnet and spessartite garnet earrings that are surrounded by diamonds.
Mint garnet and diamond pendant by Parle.
Nautilus Earrings by Ed Levin Jewelry featuring rhodolite garnet.
Garnet and sterling silver ring by Michael Schofield & Co.
Cushion cabochon cuff links featuring garnet over moth of pearl, by Tacori.
White gold, tsavorite, and diamond Boutique pendant by SHAH Luxury.
In a more science-based outlook, garnets are used as abrasives in many fields.
Garnets are one of the few gems that display their full, natural color; no treatments are done to enhance or alter them.
Depending upon the type of the garnet, they can be found in many locations around the globe. They usually form in a cubic structure, like squares piled on top of one another.
Garnets are anything but plain or ordinary, and with a wide range of colors to choose from, there’s a member of the family that’s right for everyone. It shines on after years and carries with it ancient history.
It’s a pretty bauble and a treasured talisman. No matter how melancholy the weather may be this time of year, you can rest assure that a garnet will brighten up your day!
The American Gem Society’s Director of Marketing wanted to show off her favorite pieces of jewelry which happen to feature garnet! The earrings and ring were both designed by AGS member, M.J. Christensen.
These garnet dangle earrings were designed by AGS member, M.J. Christensen.
M.J. Christensen also designed this ring featuring a garnet and diamonds.
Like tourists to the Grand Canyon, thousands of people routinely descend on Tucson, Arizona, in the first quarter of every year. The reason? Gemstones!
An annual gathering of miners and cutters that is loosely dubbed the “Tucson Gem Shows” is the draw, with 40-plus individual fairs targeting largely professional buyers of rough and loose stones and some finished jewelry.
While some venues permit entry to consumers, the bulk of the shows exist to serve the business-to-business audience. As a longtime member of the trade, the American Gem Society secures entry to the toniest destination in town—the American Gem Trade Association’s GemFair Tucson, held Jan. 31 to Feb. 5—to find out what AGS member artisans brought for your favorite stores to buy.To wit, here are three trends that you can shop by fall.
To wit, here are three trends that you can shop by fall.
Colored gemstone halo style engagement rings. You’re accustomed to seeing all-diamond halo-style rings in stores, but colored stone merchants are getting in on this style game with their own vivid versions. Think naturally color-changing alexandrite melee surrounding purple spinel at OMI Gems, or multiple hues of fancy color sapphires. These options are fresh in terms of look and can also help contain costs, depending on the gems. “Young couples are really interested in color for engagement rings—and not just blue!” observes Kambiz Sabouri, president of Gem 2000.
Ring with a purple spinel center stone and a halo of diamonds and alexandrite from OMI Gems.
Unexpected color combinations. From rare pink Mahenge spinels with Mozambique ruby to opals with tsavorite or mandarin garnet, there are no rules for robust and beautifully colored gem pairings. In fact, Royal India isn’t creating anything that could be considered a basic look anymore; instead, it is making one-of-a-kinds. “People are tired of being ‘dull,’” remarks CEO Vishal Kotahwala. Helping to grow the numbers of sui generis? Rare stones like Paraiba tourmaline. “Paraiba with anything is wonderful,” notes Sabrina Bindra, director of sales and marketing for B & B Fine Gems.
Earrings with mixed colors of gemstones from Royal India.
Long necklaces for layering. Length remains a go-to for many fine jewelry-buying fashionistas. Versatility is one reason—heard of layering?—but so is a variety of materials. Long necklaces from pearl maker Mastoloni feature not just round or baroque shapes of South Sea pearls but also gemstone accents. And at Jye’s International, lightweight numbers, particularly 36-inch-long necklaces with rose-cut sapphires, are most in demand. “The younger generation loves to mix up their wardrobes with functional pieces,” says founder Jennifer Chang.
Multi-strand necklace with rose-cut multi-color sapphires from Jye’s International.
Want to learn more about these gemstones and trends? Do you have your own designs in mind? Visit an AGS-certified jeweler near you and they’ll be happy to help you find the gems and look that’s right for you!
It has been some time since a green hue has been chosen as the color of the year, and this version—a bright shade with just a hint of yellow—is a refreshing color indeed!
Pantone says it was chosen as a symbolic color of new beginnings and renewal, a calming hue to soothe and relax, and a call to reconnect with the world around us. Indeed, Greenery reminds us of nature, and few things calm like plants and animals.
The color will be coming to the forefront of all things fashionable this year; clothes, interior décor and of course, jewelry.
Gems that embody this color are reviving peridot, versatile tourmaline, vibrant tsavorite garnet and of course, comforting emerald. In fact, emeralds have been a symbol of renewal and growth for ages, as well as wealth and status.
Alternately, peridot is considered the gem of the sun, while garnets and tourmalines have many meanings and supposed health benefits.
Certainly, all gems that match this sublime “Greenery” represent nature at its finest.
The color green, at its scientific core, is a color between blue and yellow, a mixture of those two opposing colors, if you will. The word, “green”, is thought to be derived from Middle English or possibly Germanic roots, most likely meaning, “grass” or “roots.”
Peridot and tsavorite ring by Erica Courtney.
Colombian emerald and diamond necklace by Takat.
Tsavorite and diamond band by Supreme Jewelry.
In many cultures and languages, green and blue often have similar names associated with the color, making it a great transition from last year’s Pantone color of the year, Serenity (a soft blue).
Science has proven that green is restful on the eyes, balancing to emotions and also helps combat fatigue.
Green is surprisingly hard to “copy” from nature’s mix to create pigments and dyes, including food coloring. Older methods included finely powdered malachite, another gemstone, to create stains.
Historically, green has an interesting history; in more arid locations, the color was one of hope for things to come and rebirth. The Egyptians used the color often, even going so far as to characterize some of their deities with green skin.
The Greeks weren’t overly fond of the color and rarely used it in artistic purists. The Romans, however, linked the color to their goddess, Venus, who was the goddess of love and nature, thus making the color more romantic.
During the Renaissance, where clothing colors denoted social status and occupation, green tones were worn primarily by merchants and bankers. It was a featured clothing color in many famous paintings of the era, including Mona Lisa, who wears a shade of darker, muted green.
Jade, ruby, and diamond earrings by Ricardo Basta Fine Jewelry.
Mint tourmaline and diamond pendant by Parle.
Green quartz and diamond earrings by NEI Group.
The Masonic orders use green to symbolize immortality of all that is divine and true. Since the natural aspect of the color is unchanging, it is considered an immutable color.
In terms of jewelry, green was a popular color in both the Art Nouveau and Art Deco eras. In the former, it was used for accents of sweeping, nature-inspired designs that dominated the movement.
In the latter it was often used as a striking aside to other colors, using the bolder, darker hues of the color rather than the light and airy versions.
Greenery may seem like an odd choice…until the plants bloom once more. As spring hits, sooner rather than later, green becomes the prominent color we see. It is a surprisingly balanced color, managing to be both soft and bold. It is a romantic color, when you think about it, and invokes emotions when seen.
We all need a connection to nature in some form, and Greenery gives us that connection with our most obvious sense, sight.
And when it is seen, it is felt.
To see green colors is to feel them, and to wear a gemstone that holds such a deep tie to the world around us grounds us, makes us feel.
Wearing green jewelry is sure to help you feel at peace throughout your day. Who doesn’t need to feel relaxed during hectic and overfull days?
Embrace a green gemstone, make it your own and begin to enjoy 2017’s color, Greenery!
Isabelle Corvin is an AGS Certified Gemologist (CG) who is the Staff Gemologist at Panowicz Jewelers. Since she was 14-years-old, she knew she wanted to be a gemologist. Ms. Corvin also writes for Panowicz Jewelers’ blog.
If you haven’t already, be sure to mark your calendar for this Sunday, February 26, so you don’t miss the 89th Academy Awards! Millions of film and fashion fans will be tuning into ABC at 7:00 p.m. EST/4:00 p.m. PST when the stars begin to walk the red carpet.
What will this year’s fab fashions be? Here’s a list of five trends that are predicted to be “scene” on the stars. We’ve included a few designs from AGS members that we think would best complement these lovely looks.
Flowers and Nature
Floral designs never seem to go out of style and with spring just around the corner, what better place to display some flower power than at the Oscars! They can either be classic and demure or big, bold, and bright! With the growing trend of floral patterns, other nods to nature are sure to follow. Animals, birds, and leafy plants are leaving a trail on this season’s designs.
Sapphire, white and brown diamonds flower ring by Supreme Jewelry.
Flexible diamond tiger cuff by Roberto Coin.
Cobra drop earrings with diamonds by John Hardy.
Here’s a hue that has been popular of late. When it comes to pink gemstones, we can choose from pink diamonds, pink sapphire, Morganite, kunzite, and rose quartz, to name a few! Which gal—or guy—will be thinking pink on the red carpet?
Fancy light purplish pink heart shape diamond necklace by Scott West Diamonds.
Fancy pink diamond ring by Jeffrey Daniels Unique Designs.
Pink sapphire flower cluster diamond earrings and pendant by Whiteflash.
The elegant drape of a one-shoulder dress or top embodies a mix of sophistication and sultriness. An ensemble like this should be punctuated by some serious sparkle!
Diamond Angel Feather ring by KC Designs.
The Helen necklace by Harry Kotlar.
White Kites Bird long earrings by HOF X Stephen Webster.
Reminiscent of old Hollywood, satin is one of the biggest trends this spring. Expect to see the silky-smooth and shimmering fabric in bright jewel tones. Enhance the look with gorgeous jewels like these!
Trillion cut Tanzanite and diamond earrings by AG Gems.
A two-tone gold necklace featuring rose-cut emeralds and diamonds by Yael Designs.
Paraiba tourmaline and diamond ring by Takat.
Gone are the days of drab black and gray. Enter the brilliant and daring blocks of color! Bold and beautiful gemstones make these jewelry designs absolute showstoppers.
“Amazon” pendant featuring peridot accented by purple garnet and diamonds by Erica Courtney.
“Gossip” emerald cut citrine earrings with diamonds by Goshwara.
Rhodolite and spessartite garnet ring by Omi Prive.
Shopping for fine jewelry should be just as exciting as the Oscars but without unwelcome surprises. American Gem Society (AGS) credentialed jewelers adhere to standards that not only comply with governing laws, but that go beyond, to ensure that you are buying from jewelers who have the knowledge and skill to help you make the most informed buying decision. To find an AGS jeweler near you, click here, and leave the nail-biting uncertainty for the Oscars!
Rhodolite garnet and emerald sunbeam earrings by Ricardo Basta Fine Jewelry.
If you’re celebrating a birthday or any special occasion this month, then the garnet is a worthy addition to your fine jewelry wardrobe. Here are four fun facts about the colorific January gem:
1. Not all garnets are red.
Garnet is actually the name of a group of minerals that comes in a rainbow of colors, from the deep red of the Pyrope garnet to the vibrant green of Tsavorites. Some rare garnets are even blue, colorless, or—most rare of all—change colors in different lights. But the most common color is a beautiful range of reds, from rust colored to deep violet-red.
2. It’s more than just a gemstone.
For thousands of years, the garnet has lived a glamorous life as a gemstone. But in the past 150 years, it has also been put to the test as an effective industrial mineral. In the United States, garnet has been utilized for waterjet cutting, abrasive blasting, and filtration.
3. Their inclusions make them unique.
Some garnets have inclusions that are part of the beauty of the overall stone (like “horsetails” in Demantoid garnets, or Hessonite garnets which sometimes have a “turbulent” look). So you may discover that you like the distinctive look these inclusions bring to the piece.
4. Garnets have been around for a very long time.
The garnet is so durable, remnants of garnet jewelry can be found as far back as the Bronze Age. Other references go back to 3100 BC when the Egyptians used garnet as inlays in their jewelry and carvings. The Egyptians even said it was the symbol of life. The garnet was very popular with the Romans in the 3rd and 4th Century.
Today, the garnet can be found in a range of jewelry pieces and styles, from beautiful rings to stunning tiaras. Since the garnet can come in a range of colors, rare garnets in green or blue make breathtaking pieces, especially in pendants or drop earrings.
Here are a few designs from AGS members featuring the many colors of the garnet. Click on the images for a larger view.
Two-tone garnet and ideal cut diamond ring by Yael Designs.
Silver and 14k gold Cleo bracelet by Ed Levin Jewelry featuring a Rhodolite garnet.
Mint Tsavorite garnet ring by Coffin & Trout Fine Jewelers.
Garnet and diamond pendant by Supreme Jewelry.
Mandarin garnet and diamond ring by Erica Courtney.
Oval faceted garnet ring by Lika Behar.
Tsavorite garnet, Spessarite garnet, and diamond earrings by AG Gems.
Tsavorite garnet and diamond ring by Omi Privé.
Brazilian garnet and diamond flower pendant by Stuller.
Lotus garnet and diamond ring by Parlé Jewelry Designs.
To learn more about the wide range of garnet color options and to pick the perfect piece, search for an AGS jeweler near you!
The holidays are only a few days away, so if you’re still looking for something super special for the season, the American Gem Society (AGS) suggests stackables, studs, or solitaires. These pieces are always on trend and are regular go-to items in any fine jewelry wardrobe.
Below are some dazzling designs by our AGS members that are sure to inspire. If you need more ideas, you can always count on an AGS jeweler to help. Every year, our AGS members are required to continue their gemological education, staying up-to-date on changes and trends in the jewelry industry. Search for an AGS jeweler near you by clicking here.
The beauty of a stackable bracelet or ring is that you can wear them individually, mix and match to change the look or wear them all together. So many options!
Le Vian Chocolate Diamond™ Stackable Wristwear
Honora’s ringed pearl and crystal stretch bracelets.
Erica Courtney’s Stackable Eternity Rings
Danhier Sapphire Stackable Rings
These days, when it comes to studs, the possibilities are endless! You could sport a solitaire diamond or gemstone by day, and then dress it up with an earring jacket by night.
Whiteflash 8-prong martini diamond studs.
KC Designs’ diamond stud and jacket.
Armadani ruby and diamond halo studs.
Baggins Pearls’ classic white south sea diamond studs.
Often a solitaire is presumed to be a round diamond, simply set as a ring or pendant. But today you’ll find these singular stones come in all shapes, sizes, and species—like corundum (ruby and sapphire) and quartz (amethyst and citrine).
Jade Trau’s six prong diamond solitaire.
Parle’s Lotus Garnet pendant.
Mark Schneider’s Silver Inspiration Pendant featuring amethyst.
Uneek’s round diamond engagement ring with peekaboo split shank.
Always keep in mind, when purchasing a diamond—whether it’s a loose stone or mounted—to ask your jeweler for an AGS Laboratories Diamond Grading Report. That way you can be confident that your diamond has been consistently and accurately graded by the only nonprofit diamond grading laboratory with the mission of consumer protection. Accept no substitutes. Happy shopping!