The Four C's of Diamond Grading
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The birthstone for January, the term 'garnet' actually describes a group of more than ten different gemstones of similar chemical composition. Most people only recognize the deep red color of the Garnet, but Garnet actually comes in a rainbow of colors that encompasses every hue except for blue. Some of the pre-Garnet names for these fabulous stones are Spessartite, Tsavorite, Almandite, and Rhodolite. The Garnet stone is comprised of several different minerals, and this is what causes the difference in color between two stones of the same Garnet group. In history, Garnet been used as a talisman and protective stone because it was believed to light up the dark night and protect its wearer from evil and disaster. Garnet is also a hard stone, and good for every-day wear in jewelry. The name iolite comes from the Greek 'ion', which means violet. Iolite is usually a purplish blue, with a softness to it's colour that is quiet in its beauty. A stone that embodies subtle strength and power, it is a harder gemstone than Tanzanite, and is often Tanzanite's substitution for this reason. Iolite also displays strong pleochroism just as Tanzanite does, and is different colors in different viewing directions. In well-cut gems, a bluish-purple color should be reflected vibrantly because iolite is naturally a clear stone.