My birthstone is ruby, and I really love rubies. Unfortunately though, good ones are expensive so I only have a few tiny ones as accent stones in a ring and a pendant.

For more slender budgets, a good red stone has always been garnet. Most of them you see are very dark, almost black. But if you look around you can find gorgeous cherry red ones. I have a couple of really nice vintage garnets. Garnets were way more popular in previous centuries, but have seen a bit of a comeback, possibly because they are cheap and readily available on the resale market. Red garnets are incredibly common but they also come in other colours, such as the rare blue.

Spessartine (Named after Spessart in Bavaria, Germany) garnets have a glorious flame-like sparkle and vary quite a bit in colour.

Here are my garnets, which are all quite deep red because they are mostly old and cheap:

Please excuse the t shirt fluff. The perils of cats!

Gold-plated sterling silver and garnet ring
This garnet and sterling silver pendant was originally silver in colour. I matched it to the ring above by having it gold-plated.
I found this garnet and gold-plated sterling silver pendant at a flea market for $1.

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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