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Garnet Healing Properties, Facts and Photos

The mineral garnet on display in the Museum of Natural History Los Angeles

1. What Colour is Garnet?
2. Some History of Garnet
3. More About Garnet
4. Garnet Healing Properties
5. Article Pictures
6. Shop Garnet

What Colour is Garnet?

Although garnet is best known for being red it occurs in many different colours. There are several varieties of this rock forming mineral.

Whilst the different colours all share a common crystal structure and have similar physical properties, their chemical composition is not the same.

As well as red, garnet can also be green, pink, yellow, orange, brown, black or even colourless.  The main difference apart from colour is density and refractive index which is a measurement of light used with certain minerals.

The colour of garnet is rarely enhanced through heat treatments.  Throughout history it has mistaken for ruby because of its deep red colour.

Almandine and pyrope garnet tend to be the most popular varieties.  There is a slight difference in colour which can only really be seen in the finest grade gemstones.  They only occur in shades of red. 

The name 'pyrope' comes from the Greek word 'pyropos' meaning 'fiery-eyed'.  This variety is often found associated with diamond. 

In the Kimberley region of South Africa where pyrope garnet is mined it's known as the Cape Ruby. 

rough garnet mineral on display in a museum display cabinet

Spessartine also known as mandarin garnet because of its vivid orange colour is one of the rarest varieties.  Its name comes from the region of Spessart in Bavaria, southern Germany.

Grossular garnet in its purest form is clear and colourless but often contains impurities.  For this reason it's often found in several different colours.  The name comes from the Greek word 'grossularia' meaning 'gooseberry' because its colour and shape can sometimes resemble the fruit.

Tsavorite which is the most highly sought after variety of grossular garnet exhibits vivid green colour.  It was discovered in 1968 in Tanzania.  Three years later it was also found in Kenya.

The American jewellery company Tiffany & Co were the first to market tsavorite garnet.  They named it after the Tsavo National Park.

Virtually all tsavorite garnet is found in East Africa.  This region is rich in vanadium which gives garnet and sometimes emerald its distinctive green colour.

Demantoid garnet is one of the rarest and most valuable varieties.  The name comes from the Dutch word 'demant' meaning 'diamond' because of its impressive fire or brilliance.

Demantoid garnet was discovered in 1868.  It quickly became popular with jewellers including Carl Fabergé and Tiffany & Co.  It was also popular during the Victorian era and with Russian Tsars. 

Some History of Garnet

Garnets which have been found in Bronze Age excavations are believed to be one of the world's most ancient gemstones.  They have been traced to the Nile Delta in 3100 B.C. where ancient Egyptian artisans are known to have created beads, bracelets and other items of jewellery.

Orange grossular garnet also known as hessonite was also used for jewellery, cameos and intaglios in ancient Greece and Rome. 

Red varieties of garnet were once included in the group known as carbuncle.  This ancient name described all blood-red coloured translucent gemstones cut as cabochons.  The name however applied particularly to garnet.

At one time all dark red coloured stones were considering to be the same mineral.

Garnets were widely traded in Carthage (Tunisia) during early Roman times.  They were believed to have strong curative powers and were also used for hundreds of years as an abrasive.

Garnet is still widely used as an abrasive today because it's relatively hard and has sharp edges.  Once crushed it's ideal for cutting and sanding.

On Mohs scale of hardness it grades 6.5 to 7.5.   
The high priest breastplate was a religious garment worn by the Jewish high priest during biblical times. It was adorned with twelve gemstones each of which was inscribed with one of the twelve tribes of Israel.  Carbuncle is believed to have been the third stone in the first row.

Almandine garnet also known as the 'Ceylon Ruby' has been popular in jewellery since at least Roman times.  It was referenced by Pliny the Elder Roman author, naturalist and natural philosopher in his encyclopedia Naturalis Historia.  

garnet crystals on serpentine matrix on display in the Natural History Museum London

Garnet has long been used as an amulet by travellers.  It was believed to preserve health and honour, cure the wearer of diseases and offer protection against perils encountered during their journey.

Many explorers and travellers who carried garnet believed it would illuminate the night sky.  The stones' luminosity is now known be caused by its high refraction of light.

More About Garnet

Garnet is the birthstone for January on modern, traditional and ayurvedic birthstone charts.  On the mystical chart the birthstone for January is emerald.

Garnet is associated with the zodiac sign of aquarius.

Garnet can be found in many types of rock from granite to mudstone. Due to its strength and abundance it's often used by geologists to study how rocks have changed over time.

It also enables them to look at how much heat and pressure they've been exposed to and what elements were around when they formed.

This naturally occurring crystalline solid is one of the most common minerals on Earth.  It can withstand high temperatures and extreme pressure.

Australia produces almost half the world's garnets.  Other countries where it's mined include India, USA and China.

The Princess of Wales was seen wearing a garnet ring early in her relationship with Prince William.  Her birthday is January 9th.  The ring also featured pearl which is William's birthstone.

Garnet Healing Properties

Garnet is powerfully energising and highly protective.  It's often associated with enhancing energy levels and vitality.  It stimulates the flow of energy throughout the body revitalising and energising the wearer.

Garnet is useful during a crisis and can help in situations where there seems to be no way out.  Its grounding and balancing energies can help stabilise emotions, calm the mind and bring a sense of security and stability.  It may also assist in overcoming emotional trauma and promoting inner strength.

The healing properties of garnet strengthen the instinct of survival to bring courage and hope.  It's particularly beneficial for attracting love, dreaming and metabolism.

Garnet is a 'stone for good health' that cleanses and re-energises the chakras.  It balances sex drive and alleviates emotional disharmony.  It releases stagnant energies, dispels negativity and aligns the chakras.

Garnet promotes a sense of balance, harmony and understanding.  This energetic realignment enhances well-being and creates a deeper connection to the higher self.

When used for manifestation garnet amplifies thoughts and intentions.  It can also help you to stay focussed on your goals.

Article Pictures

The pictures in our article are clickable and redirect to the original photo.

The first two garnet photos are courtesy of Stan Celestian.  The demantoid garnet is on display in London's Natural History Museum.  Photo by Stone Mania.

The garnet tumbled stones are from our collection.

a small collection of red garnet tumbled stones shop now explore our collection of garnet
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