Characteristics: Garnet is not specifically a gemstone — it’s actually a name for a group of silicate minerals that have similar structures and components that offer a wide range of deep colors. For that reason, the Garnet gemstone is available in a rainbow of colors— the most common color being the red and reddish brown. The gemstone has a high refractive index, which means it has great brilliance and reflects light in beautiful and powerful ways. Garnets are a durable gem that come from all over the world — from the U.S. to South Africa, Sri Lanka, Brazil, India, Argentina, Australia, Scotland, Switzerland and Tanzania — this dazzling gemstone is everywhere.
Origin: The name Garnet is a Latin term for “seed” due to the popular red garnet’s resemblance to a pomegranate seed. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans revered the garnet as a protective gemstone that would “light the night” and protect its wearers from evil and doom. In the bible, it tells of Noah using the garnet gemstone to navigate and light the Ark for 40 days and 40 nights.
During medieval times, the gem was thought to protect, cure depression, safeguard from bad dreams and purge the body of disease. The garnet was used on the breast plates of high priests and was often worn as an amulet in defense against poisons. The King of Saxony is rumored to have had a garnet of more than 465 carats.
Folklore: Garnets are believed to increase confidence, courage, energy and security. It symbolizes protection, faith, trust, compassion and fidelity. Today, the garnet remains a great gift of love and is widely known as the birthstone for the month of January, but has also been traditionally given for the 19th anniversary of marriage.
With its rich history, variety of color, and a sturdiness that lasts for ages, with its classic and timeless attraction in both ancient talismans and modern day jewelry, the garnet remains among one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the mineral world.
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