The garnet gemstone, birthstone for January and the second-year wedding anniversary gem, has been favored throughout the centuries. Garnet is found the world over including in Wyoming in the United States, the Czech Republic, Greece, Russia, Tanzania, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, and in India. The word “garnet” comes from the from Latin “granatum” which means seed, referring to the gemstone’s resemblance to the beautiful red seeds of the pomegranate fruit. Garnet is not only used as an ornamental jewel, but also for diverse industrial purposes. These include as parts for watch gears, scientific instruments, and for abrasives.
Although it is most popular in its beautiful shades of red, the garnet can be found in a wide variety of colors. These include the deep red garnet of the pyrope and almandine varieties, grape garnet, bright pink-red rhodolite garnet, gorgeous green tsavorite, orange-red hessonite garnet, and garnet varieties which change color under different types of lighting.
HARDNESS AND CARE
The garnet is a very durable gemstone, ranking 6.5-7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. They are not affected by exposure to light. The garnet is so durable, remnants of garnet jewelry can be found as far back as the Bronze Age in 3200 BC. Although considered a sturdy gem, garnet should not be subjected to rough wear. The proper way to clean garnet is with mild soap and warm water, using a soft toothbrush. Rinse and blot dry with a smooth fiber cloth.
Garnet for jewelry has been highly desired throughout history. Garnet was carved for signet rings in ancient Rome and used to stamp wax seals on important documents.
As early as 3100 BC, Egyptians used garnet as inlays in their jewelry and carvings. Pharaohs wore red garnet necklaces to benefit from its mystical properties. Garnets were used in the former Czechoslovakia as far back as the Bronze Age. They were found in jewelry in Sumeria, Palestine around 2100 B.C. and in Sweden between 1000 and 2000 B.C. Garnet was used as an inlay gem in ancient Celtic and Anglo-Saxon jewelry. The garnet gemstone was much favored by European nobility in the Middle Ages. It was also very popular during Victorian times and was often used in designs that represented pomegranates. Garnet remains highly popular today and is used for all types of jewelry designs.
Garnet has been used not just as an ornamental jewel, but also in warfare. Some Asiatic tribes were known to place garnet stones in wounds to encourage blood clotting. In 1892, Hunza tribes engaged in hostilities with the British on the Kashmir front used garnet bullets in their firearms. They believed that red-colored garnet bullets would make deadlier wounds than those made of lead. Garnet was used as a protective talisman during the Crusades by both Christians and Muslims.
Garnet is believed to bring about peace, prosperity and good health to the home. It is considered a lucky stone for love, success, and business relationships. The garnet symbolizes deep and lasting friendship. As such, garnet makes an excellent choice as a gift to friends. It has been believed to heal and strengthen the blood, heart, and lungs. Garnet is also known for its utilization of creative energy.
Garnet has been used as a sacred stone by the Native American Indians, the South American Indians, the Aztecs, the African tribal elders, and the Mayans.
We invite you to visit our store in Miami’s Pinecrest Village to view our collection of colored gemstone jewelry, gold designs, pre-owned timepieces, and diamond merchandise. Our address is 11219 South Dixie Highway. We offer plenty of free parking. Store hours are 10am-6pm, Monday through Saturday. If you have any questions, please contact us at (305) 252-1123. We look forward to helping you find the perfect gift or self purchase.