Stone of January: Garnets
Garnet varieties and origins:
In Latin, granatus is an adjective meaning “having many seeds” and designates the pomegranet fruit. The seeds of the fruit recall the shape and stunning red colour of the garnet.
Garnets are part of the family of silicates and offer a wide range of colours and sheen:
- pyrope: bright red, dark velvet red with brownish tinges - the most common form of garnet and is what is regularly known as “garnet”
- spessartite: orange to reddish brown
- almandin: brick red with rouge brique, parfois allant sur le violet - the most common variety
- rhodolite: pink to purple red
- hessonite: caramel colour
- andradite: yellow to brown
- tsavorite: pale green to emerald green - rare
- demantoïde: grass green - rare
It is one of the only untreated gem families on the market.
Virtues, myths and legends surrounding the Garnet:
Since early times, throughout centuries and cultures, the garnet - 'stone of plenty' has been revered as a talisman, believed to protect, strengthen and encourage the success of those who wear it. Mind, body and soul, garnet calms, cheers, energises, illuminates and transforms with the intent to uplift and balance the wearer. A symbol of truth, commitment and faithfulness, it is also associated with emotions and love.
History and legend:
- Garnets can be found on each of the 5 continents with deposits in Russia, India, Tanzania, Madagascar, Brasil, Canada and even in certain regions of France. Therefore its only natural that the stones are linked to popular beliefs in numerous parts of the world.
- A hard stone (7 to 7.5 Mohs), garnets are not only used for jewellery and lithotherapy, it was used for engraving other stones and is also widely known and used as an abrasive.
- Garnets were popular in ancient civilisations, we find traces of them in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome.
- In the bible, the light that guided Noah's arch was a large garnet. In the Coran, the carbuncles (another name for garnets) are mentioned as adorning wings.
- It is traditionally given as a 2nd wedding anniversary gift.
Which metals should you use to set Garnets:
Garnet stones look fantastic on both yellow and rose gold which bring out the deep nuances of the stone's colour. As it is reasonably easy to come by and relatively affordable stone, it is also found on sterling silver jewellery and often in quite large sizes.
Products available on our website related to Garnets and the colour garnet:
- Swarovski® Blazing Red Topazes, available for purchase in small quantities
- Caflon ear piercing earrings, available in bezel and claw settings, gold coated steel, stainless steel
To care for your jewellery and precious objects made from genuine garnet, we recommend you to use our HAGERTY Fine Stones Clean line of products which has been specially developped for fine stones. 2 different products exist: pot of formula cleanser for thorough cleaning and a special polishing cloth impregnated with cleanser.