Garnet is the name given to a group of minerals that occur in wide variety of colors, although the best known is the deep red from which the stone derives its name: “gernet” is a word from Middle English and means “dark red. “Gernet itself is derived from the Latin “granatum”, as in pomegranate, meaning “seed”.
Composition and Physical Properties
Garnets are chemically classifies as Silicates and can be found in shades of green, orange, black, brown, purple and yellow as well as the best-known deep red. Blue garnets do occur but are extremely rare.
The most common minerals in the Garnet group are: uvarovite, almadine, grossular, spessartine, pyrope, and andradite. They all have a glassy, or vitreous luster and are translucent to transparent in diaphaneity.
The generic chemical classification of the Garnet group is X3 Y2 (Si04)3. Their crystal system is isometric.
Origin and Provenance
Garnet can be found all over the globe and the rarest form, Mandarin Garnet, are the most highly prized of all the Garnet varieties. The minerals can be found in Sri Lanka and India, Tanzania, Madagascar, Czech Republic, Greece, Russia and parts of the USA.
Industrial and Other Uses
Pyrope garnet is used in industrial applications of waterjet cutting, abrasive blasting and cleaning, fine sandpaper, water filtration as granules and abrasive powders used in a variety of industrial processes.
History and Mythological Significance
Garnet has a rich and fascinating body of folklore associated with it. Its connection to the seeds of the pomegranate has clearly been influential in the widely held belief that this stone can bring lovers together speedily after a time of separation. According to Greek mythology, Hades gave the gift of a pomegranate to Persephone to ensure her speedy return to him in the underworld. Garnet has retained this significance a symbol of love and is traditionally given as a gift on the 19th anniversary of a marriage.
During mediaeval times, Garnets were credited with the ability to guard against nightmares, cure depression and relive disorders of the liver. In the Old testament Noah is used a garnet to bring light and illumination to the Ark during the time of the flood. In Christian traditions, the red hue of many Garnets is held to represent the sanctity of Christ’s blood. The Koran refers to the power of Garnet to illuminate the Fourth Heaven of Islam.
In Ancient Greece Garnet was believed to guard against poison and to protect children from drowning.
It seems that Garnet has been used as a protective talisman by the people of many different cultures and civilizations throughout human history. References to the power of Garnet to ward off danger, promote good health and keep travelers safe have been found in many ancient texts.
Metaphysical and Healing Properties
In terms of metaphysical applications and properties, Garnet is said to be a powerful healer, able to regenerate the cells of the body, purify the blood and assist in the assimilation of minerals and vitamins.
Its psychological applications include sharpening one’s perception of self and other people, dissolving unwanted behavior patterns that no longer serve you and addressing self-sabotaging habits. Emotionally, Garnet is said to remove inhibitions and taboos and promote self-confidence.
At Tejas Beads we carry a large collection garnet beads for jewelry making. Our collection is know for high grade material, superiors cut, and quality finish.