PHYSICAL AND OPTICAL PROPERTIES OF GARNET
Garnet designates a family of minerals belonging to the group of Silicates. This family includes among others the varieties: Rhodolite, Spessartite, Hessonite, Tsavorite, Demantoid and above all, the red Pyrope: M3Al2(SiO4)3 and the red-violet Almandine: Fe3Al2(SiO4)3. Garnets are translucent to non-transparent, their luster is vitreous to resinous, oily, silky, their crystalline system is cubic. They have a hardness of 6 to 7.5, and their specific gravity is 3.5 to 4.3.
THE COLORS OF GARNET
The word garnet naturally evokes this warm red color which corresponds to the most common version of this fine stone. However, variations in the chemical composition of this mineral allow for the existence of purple, green, brown and yellow garnets. Mozambique garnet is ruby in color, Malaya garnet is orange, rhodolite garnet is purple pink, raspberry rhodolite tends towards pinkish-red, spessartite is orange-red, hessonite evokes caramel, demantoid is d a fresh green and the Tsavorite resembles an emerald. Only blue is not represented in the multicolored range of garnet. There are even very rare specimens which change color in the light of a candle, in certain deposits of Madagascar...
MAIN GRENATE DEPOSITS
Garnet deposits are quite abundant. These minerals are found in magmatic rocks, in pegmatites and in particular in metasomatic rocks through contact with magma, which has led to the reorganization of minerals and their crystallization. They are numerous in the crystalline shales, and by degradation of the rocks, they are sometimes found in quantity in the alluvium. For the record, the mica schists of the Ile de Groix, in Brittany, contain countless garnets. The main garnet mining countries today are Tanzania, India and Madagascar. Other deposits are found in Russia, Mali, Canada, Brazil...
ADVICE FROM OUR GEMMOLOGIST: HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR GARNET WELL?
The choice of a garnet is above all a matter of taste, because the palette of colors available is very extensive. However, full attention must be paid to the quality of the cut, which will bring out the depth of the gem, and the more transparent it is, the higher its price will be.
STORIES AND LEGENDS AROUND GARNET
The term "garnet" comes from the Latin "malum granatum", fruit with grains, which designated the pomegranate. Indeed, the grains of this shimmering color are strongly reminiscent of these gems. In the time of the Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder, garnets were called carbuncles. In Rome, Greece, as in ancient Egypt, garnets were often chiseled and represented animals or faces. The Bible says that to direct his ark in the darkness of the Flood, Noah lit himself with a garnet lantern. The Quran states that the fourth heaven is made up of carbuncles. The Vikings used garnets in funeral ceremonies, believing they had the ability to guide the dead to their paradise, Valhalla. The Museum of National Antiquities in Saint-Germain-en-Laye houses Merovingian jewelry featuring garnets. In the 18th century, European courtiers liked to adorn themselves with Bohemian garnets. Warriors from the principality of Hunza in northern Pakistan, which came under British control in 1891, fired on the British in Kashmir with garnet bullets, believing that their blood-red color gave them a more deadly character…
VIRTUES AND BENEFITS OF GARNET
Garnet is often considered a stone of transformation, even transmutation. She would have the ability to help overcome difficulties to gain an experience, to transcend love passion and to improve sexual energy. Saint Hildegard of Bingen, an 11th century Benedictine nun who healed with stones, believed that garnet strengthened the heart. It would strengthen vital energy, treat bleeding problems and regulate blood circulation. It would protect against poisons. Not recommended for jealous and angry people, it would be more suitable for calm and calm people. This energizing stone would fight against fatigue and apathy and purify the chakras.
ASTROLOGICAL CORRESPONDENCES OF GARNET
The month of birth associated with garnet is January, and garnet weddings correspond to 2 years of marriage. The stone is associated with the sign of Aquarius as well as Capricorn. In Vedic astrology, garnet is considered a powerful protective talisman against the evil influences of Rahu, the eclipse demon. In China, garnet is linked to the sign of the Rat. It wards off melancholy, and on the door it avoids malevolent intrusions.
The Science of Garnet
Even though the most common color when thinking of a garnet stone is red, this gorgeous group of minerals contains many different stones that due to a slight change of balance of their chemical composition creates a full rainbow of tonal possibilities, being blue the only color that it doesn't contain.
Garnet is a group of silicate minerals with cubic rhombic, dodecahedron and icositetrahedron crystal systems and a Mohs hardness of 6.5-7.5.
Garnet throughout History
Just like the vividly succulent seed of a pomegranate, garnet takes its name from the Latin
word granatus , meaning “seed”, and archeologists claim that these stones have been used by countless ancient civilizations, such as the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians, and later by the Celts and the Saxons.
Known for its protective abilities, garnet has been nicknamed “the stone of travelers” and has ornamented amulets and talismans of those that needed to illuminate their path and stay safe from danger.
This stone has been documented and beloved by many religions – Christians have always associated red garnet as a symbol of the blood of Christ, and its outstanding luminosity is said by Muslims to make the fourth heaven shine.
Garnet's healing properties
Ancient Egyptian folklore has connected garnet with the energy of fertility and was used in burials due to its relevance in the cycle of life. Those who bear garnet's luminous qualities are shown their own path through the willingness to serve others, as well as serving one's self.
Those who experienced garnet's everlasting light say that it effectively nullifies the effects of negative energies, creating space for positive vibrations to flood one's soul.
Garnet is associated with self-discovery and the assimilation of one's good and bad experiences in life, properly allowing memories to be awakened or put to sleep as it's more adequate in a given moment.
This family of minerals is strongly connected with both creative and sexual energy, gifting its bearer with a stronger and more fulfilling need for intimacy and a strongly founded self-confidence, and it's said to play a crucial role in the repair of DNA damage, as well as the body's absorption of vitamins and minerals.
Due to its resistant nature, garnet is not very prone to suffering serious accidental damages, but just like with any gemstone, proper care and love always applies. In order to clean it, soak it in lukewarm and soapy water and dry it with a soft cleaning cloth.