1. Garnet is most commonly associated with a gorgeous deep red (Almandine garnets), but it actually exists in a rainbow of colours - except for blue. Most January birthstone jewellery is red, however, because that is what people expect. Each type of garnet has it's own colour. My favourite is the pinky raspberry red Rhodolite garnet.
2. Other garnets include Hessonite (warm yellow to browny reddish tones, as shown to the left), Andradite (greeny olive, dark yellow or even black), Grossular (most often green but also comes in yellow, gold, orange and scarlet), Pyrope (amazing shades of red and even violet and indigo).
3. Garnets are one of the rare gemstones not mined! Garnets are actually commonly found as small pebbles in streams and watery places, where the igneous and metamorphic rocks that contain them have weathered away. These pebbles are found in many places around the world, including North and South America, Australia, and India.
4. The chemical composition of garnet varies from colour to colour and so the atomic bonds in some species are stronger than in others. As a result, this mineral group shows a range of hardness on the of about 6.5 to 7.5 on the mohs hardness scale.