Garnet Buying Guide

With so many colors and varieties available, garnet buying can be daunting. Whether starting your collection or completing it, our guide can help.

13 Minute Read

Since prices depend on nuances in color and chemistry, understanding the quality factors for this gem is essential for garnet buying.

Garnet Varieties and Blends

First, the species or variety of garnet can impact price and the gem’s use in jewelry. In reality, a stone is a blend of the end-member chemistry. However, these terms will help you understand why some garnets are much more valuable than others.

Learn to identify the different species of garnet.

The IGS garnet value listing has price guidelines for each gem-quality variety of garnet, as well as cat’s eye and star garnets.


Almandine is the most common garnet gemstone. In fact, the deep red color coveted in garnets usually represents a mixture of almandine and pyrope. Available in standard sizes and a wide range of red hues, almandine gems are less expensive than their rarer cousins. They also possess a hardness of 7-7.5. While this variety sometimes occurs in large sizes, larger stones are often too dark to be gem quality. Faceted gems are generally eye clean.


With high dispersion and limited deposits, andradites are the most highly sought garnet species. While this variety has a lower hardness, 6.5-7,…

Addison Rice

A geologist, environmental engineer and Caltech graduate, Addison’s interest in the mesmerizing and beautiful results of earth’s geological processes began in her elementary school’s environmental club. When she isn’t writing about gems and minerals, Addison spends winters studying ancient climates in Iceland and summers hiking the Colorado Rockies.

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