Grape Garnet® is a unique pyrope-almandine member of the garnet family and is quite rare. This gem is one of Columbia Gem House’s Trademarked products: a completely new gem variety when it was first found, and then named by Columbia Gem House’s Owner, Eric Braunwart. According to legend, Garnets can protect their owners from nightmares by ‘lighting up the night’. This gem was also carried by ancient travelers to protect against accidents far from home. In addition to its believed protective powers, Garnet is also the birthstone for January.
Can you tell us a little about the source of this material?
This rare purple-red garnet is mined only in the State of Odisha on the Bay of Bengal in eastern India. Mining of the alluvial deposit is done by hand using small tools like picks and shovels.
What kinds of sizes, shapes and cutting styles can be found?
You will typically find Grape Garnet® ranging from 0.3 carat to 3.0 carats size. Large sizes are very rare. We cut a variety of shapes, including ovals, cushions, checkerboards, round brilliants, trillions, princess cuts, Opposed Bar Cushion Cuts™ and more.
Is this material typically enhanced in any way?
The rich purple Grape Garnet® is the exact color of the rough removed from the mine. It is not enhanced or treated in any way.
Are there any unique characteristics you can share about this material?
Grape Garnet® has an unusually high refractive index of 1.79 or higher. This gives these gems exceptional brilliance. Only a very small portion of garnet mined in India meets the specific criteria of Grape Garnet®. This material for us must display a consistent purple-red color, be extremely well cut, and free of eye visible inclusions so the amazing brilliance of the gem can shine through. Since we do all of our own cutting, we pride ourselves in the beautiful gems in this material we have to offer.
What are the gem specs of this material? How do we know if it is authentic?
The material we source at Columbia Gem House is backed with our Gem Trust guarantee. This means you know it’s an authentic gemstone and that we will share all available information with you. You can find additional gem specifications below:
How do I care for my gemstone?
Garnet is very durable but try to avoid direct impact to the gemstone. Clean with warm water, detergent, and a soft brush. Grape Garnet® can be put in ultrasonic or steam cleaners.
What can you tell us beyond the facets? I want to know more…
Let us tell you a story about this gem – Or better yet, let’s have our Owner, Eric, tell us as he really tells it best!
“This gem got its name over 25 years ago from my first daughter, Alixandra, at a young age. I was marveling at the color of this new Garnet we found and had begun cutting but was stuck in trying to find the perfect name. My daughter sat at the kitchen table drinking her grape juice and said since it looked just like her juice, we should call it ‘Grape Garnet.’ And just like that, we found the perfect name. This material is mined in India and has a rich, vibrant merlot (or grape juice) color to it. It is so bright and vibrant that it is really in a Garnet class of its own. It reminds me of my daughter every time I see these gems; Beautiful, just like her.” – Eric Braunwart, Founder & President of Columbia Gem House.