The lustrous, rich, deep red hue of the garnet has made this stone one of the most popular gems used in antique jewellery.
If your birthday is in January, then you might be more familiar with the properties of this prized gem which is, of course, the birthstone belonging to this month.
Here at Heritage Antique Jewellery, were proud to have a large collection of garnet jewellery including earrings, necklaces, pendants, rings, bracelets and even some very unique brooches.
So if you too have been captured by the beauty and elegance of this gemstone, then here are five interesting facts which you might not have known about garnet.
It comes from the word granatum
Interestingly, garnet is derived from the Latin word granatum which translates as seed-like. This meaning specifically refers to the little red seeds found in pomegranates, displaying a close resemblance to garnet stones.
It has also been suggested that the name could originate from another medieval Latin word granatum which means red-eye, obviously referring to the deep red tone of garnets.
Whilst the name denotes a very small sized seed, garnet can, in fact, be found in any size from a grain of sand to roughly the size of an apple.
The stone occurs in over 20 different varieties
Another fascinating fact about this stone which you might not have known is that garnet is a rare gem which actually occurs in over twenty different varieties.
Despite there being such a large variety of garnet stones, only six main forms are used as gemstones. This includes grossularite (red to orange colours),almandite (red), pyrope (red and pink), spessartite (green to brown), andradite (brown to black) and uvarovite (emerald green). As highlighted in Burke Museums blog, garnets can be located in metamorphic rocks and occasionally, even in volcanic rock.
This obviously means that whilst red is the colour we most associate with garnet, it often can be found in a myriad of other tones including yellow, orange, green and even blue which is extremely rare.
Garnets are mainly found in certain areas across Europe and South America
Large deposits of garnet were discovered in Bohemia roughly around the 16th Century, and in fact, the Czech Republic, still today, mines Bohemian garnet.
As we briefly mentioned, blue garnet is incredibly rare and was in fact only found fairly recently in the 1990s in Madagascar. Today other locations such as Russia, Tanzania, Turkey and the USA have been named as some of the areas in which this rare form of garnet can be found.
The highest quality of garnet though have been discovered in East Africa.
A stone of health
Garnet has long been regarded as a stone which can help to purify the wearer. It is believed that the stone can help to remove negative energy from all of the chakras.
Whilst the stone has been used to remove toxins in the body and help to cleanse the organs and blood, in an emotional sense, garnet gives off a calming and positive aura which can also bring courage when required.
Due to its powers in bringing luck, driving passion and encouraging love, garnet jewellery is very popular as a gift for a loved one, or for someone that might be starting a new journey or adventure in their lives.
It originates from the Greek goddess of sunshine
There are a number of different myths and legends about the origins of garnet. One such folklore has said that the stone originated with Persephone who is the goddess of sunshine.
It was claimed that Persephone was caught by the god of the underworld, Hades. Yet before Hades released Persephone, he wanted to ensure that she would return. Hades provided the goddess with pomegranate seeds, which as you now know, is where the stones name had been coined.