vitality & creativity
Garnet Origin & Physical Properties
Garnet is actually a group of silicate minerals rather than one specific mineral. All species of garnets have similar physical properties and crystal forms but they differ in chemical composition. Crystals form in an isometric system, often as rhombic dodecahedrons (24 sided geometric shape) or in cubic form. Their hardness ranges from 6.5 to 7.5 due to the atomic bonds differing in strength among species. Garnets have quite a high specific gravity, varying from 3.8-4.4 by species.
The different species of garnet are pyrope, almandine, spessartine, uvarovite, demantoid and grossular (varieties are hessonite and tsavorite):
Pyrope Garnet: Exhibit classic blood-red rich color tones, generally lighter than their Almandine siblings. The most prized and expensive variety is known as Rhodolite, which has raspberry red to purple color tones and the most expensive varieties can appear similar to Rubellite.
Almandine Garnet: The iron rich member of the Garnet family, Amandine has deep red colors which can shift into slightly purple shades. The most common of the Garnet species, Almandines tend to be the most affordable and readily available in the market.
Spessartine Garnet: The most valuable varieties of Spessartine have reddish-orange color tones and are sometimes called Mandarin Garnet for their color shades. The dark red varieties are virtually indistinguishable from their Almandine siblings.
Uvarovite Garnet: A rare member of the Garnet species, this garnet is exclusively green, caused by high traces of chromium. Uvarovite generally forms in small micro crystal masses called druzy crystals, which form on rock matrix.
Demantoid Garnet: A rare, highly lustrous green color Andradite Garnet. Colors range from olive to emerald green. Historically, the finest gems came from Russia but new deposits of gem-grade Demantoid Garnets have also been discovered in Namibia and Madagascar.
Grossular Garnet: The most widely varying in colors of all Garnet species, Grossular occurs in the orange to reddish brown variety known as Hessonite and the intense green, rare and highly valuable Tsavorite from Tanzania and Kenya. Tsavorite’s color can rival that of Emerald and it is actually far more rare, which is reflected in its high prices. Its color is caused by trace amounts of chromium and/or vanadium.
Vitreous to resinous
Transparent to translucent
Red, orange, green, yellow, black, brown
Brazil, India, Sri Lanka,Thailand, Madagascar, USA
Eases Depression, Courage, uplifting, success, goals, self esteem, energy
Garnet Healing & Metaphysical Properties
Garnet’s metaphysical properties vary depending on the color more than the actual species of Garnet. The traditional reddish variety of Garnet is the birthstone of January and the zodiac of Capricorn. It’s deep red colors correspond to the elements of Fire and Earth. Indeed, its grounding and sensual energies are conducive for invigorating passion, vital energy and strengthening one’s inner power to survive and thrive.
Its long association with blood, the life force in the human body is telling. It is vital force is a perfect tool for energizing, grounding and protection against negativity. Garnet can help work through anger and frustration to come out the other side with a new sense of vitality and grounded sense of self.
Garnet is particularly helpful during trying times, when it is important to strengthen, fortify and align with one’s inner power. Tap into your survival instinct and activate your drive for survival to overcome obstacles and find the best path towards a positive outcome.
Garnet History & Mythology
The name “Garnet” comes from ‘granatum’, Medieval Latin for “dark red color”. Garnet has a long and illustrious history and has been used by ancient cultures for millennia, from the Ancient Greeks and Romans, to the Egyptians, ancient India and China.
Celtic royalty crafted elaborate inlayed garnet jewelry for protection and vitality. Historical tales speak of King Solomon wearing garnet into battle, as did both Christian and Muslim warriors during the rime of the Crusades.
There are elaborate carvings of Garnet crafted for jewelry still preserved today from Ptolemaic Egypt and the ancient Greeks. During early Christendom, Garnet was highly valued by the clergy as a symbol of Christ’s blood and sacrifice for humanity.
Garnet was a valuable commodity amongst the ancient Greeks and Romans and was thought to have strong medicinal properties. Used to reduce fever and return the body to a state of vitality and strength. Garnet was often fashioned into protective amulets to be used for protection, courage in battle and to guard against all forms of danger.
Large deposits of Garnets were found in the 1500’s in Bohemia, what is today part of the Czech Republic. Indeed, the name Bohemian Garnet became synonymous with Garnet for many centuries, as this was the most significant source of gem quality garnets until only the last century when significant deposits in India became more widely mined and distributed.