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Vividly red and glamorously brilliant: the almandine garnet has been treasured by royalty throughout history for its rich shades of blood red and exceptional luster.  Its sophisticated, deep color comes from its unique chemical composition, yet it retains the timeless strength and durability of the classic garnet.  Once a favorite jewel of the pharaohs of Egypt and King Solomon (according to legend), the almandine garnet is now admired as a symbol of love and commitment for its strength and beauty.

Characteristics of the Almandine Garnet

A classic stone of the garnet family, almandine is distinct due to its dark, purplish-red tones.  While other garnets like pyrope or spessartine range from mandarin orange to deep scarlet, the unique concentration of magnesium in almandine gives it a rare and coveted coloring.  Almandine garnets range from black or brownish red to a deep purple red sometimes compared to the “pigeon blood” red of exceptional rubies.   Ranking at 7 – 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, almandine is durable enough for daily wear while beautiful enough to look like an heirloom.  As one of the most common garnets, an almandine is also a cost-effective option for smart jewelry shoppers who want to dress like royalty without breaking the bank.

History of the Almandine Garnet

Almandine was one of the stones known to medieval jewelers as “carbuncle,” named after the glowing charcoals of a fire due to its brilliant, living color.  Found even in the 3,000-year-old tombs of the Egyptian pharaohs, almandine is possibly the oldest garnet yet so beautiful it is still popular today.  Almandine was so famous by the time of the ancient Roman historian Pliny the Elder that he called it “the most highly esteemed” stone and admired its “fire … which closely approaches the violet color of amethyst.”  Yet almandine was not just prized by pharaohs, Roman generals, and medieval kings.  It can be found widely from India to Sri Lanka and is still one of the most abundant and affordable garnets. 

Why Choose Almandine?

Aside from its rich and royal history, almandine garnets have many benefits for the savvy jewelry shopper:

  • Color: The almandine garnet’s unique shades of purple-red and elegant luster make it stand out from other garnets.
  • Durability: Unlike softer, more fragile stones, the almandine garnet is strong enough for daily wear.
  • Affordability: As one of the most common garnets, almandine is both cost-effective and easily found in a range of options.
  • Versatility: The almandine is versatile and can transform an outfit whether you’re dressing for work or a night of high luxury.

How can I find an almandine garnet?

Nazar’s & Co. Jewelers offers a variety of garnet jewelry accented with precious stones like diamonds and set in karat gold.  Shoppers should always be careful to buy from a respected jeweler to ensure fair and honest pricing as well as expert quality evaluations.  Contact us today for more information on how we can help you find a garnet as beautiful and unique as you are.

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