This is one of my favourite stones, and the most valuable of the red garnets. Rhodolite garnet has a colour range between pinkish red and deep raspberry pink and it’s not just a colour call that distinguishes it from other red garnets; it is to do with its composition. It’s a mixture of pyrope and almandine garnets, with its own distinctive refractive index, and it tends to come up a bit cleaner than almandine. Although its plentiful and reasonably priced, garnet does generally have a high specific gravity – what does this mean? It means that it’s dense and stones are relatively heavy for their size.
One of the things that surprised me about garnet when I was doing my Gem ID course, is how sparkly they are. I suppose, like alot of people, I used to underrate garnet a bit, and it was only when I was looking closely at it that I saw how special it was, how surprisingly sparkly. At their best, the colour can rival tourmaline or even ruby or spinel and they work very well with a number of other stones. Rhodolite got its name from the Greek word ‘rhodon’ which means ‘rose’ and its very apt. My mum is a January birthday and over the years, she has been inundated with lots of garnet jewelry – some of it not all that nice, it has to be said, but you know, when you’re 12 your budget is a bit limited! A few years ago I upgraded her to a pair of rhodolite and 18k gold earrings, and even she was surprised that garnet came in such a rich purply-red. Check out the versatility, clockwise from left below, Sarah Hendler Rhodolite and Sapphire Ring in 18k gold, Tessa Packard Puzzle Earrings in Rhodolite and Gold Vermeil, Art Masters’ Rhodolite and Black 14k Gold Mens’ Engagement Ring, Jewelry by Johan’s Rhodolite, Dinosaur Bone and Purple Heart Wood Ring in 14k Gold, Master Goldcraft’s perfectly simple but beautiful Rhodolite and 18k Gold Ring, and the very pretty and unusual Rhodolite and Sterling Silver Mermaid Ring by Peanut Gallery Jewels
We have a large selection of rhodolites at Joopy Gems; to browse our collection, click here.