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Garnet - The January Birthstone

limz Published On Fri Jan 10 2020   Modified On Fri Jan 10 2020
Garnet - The January Birthstone

Garnets are a group of silicate minerals that has vitreous to resinous luster. These stones have been used as gemstones since the Bronze Age. Traditionally, it is associated with January and is the zodiac stone of Aquarius. 

Garnet is a wonderful gemstone that is believed to bring order and attract love into one's life. As both Ruby and Garnet look alike, they are sometimes confused with each other but in fact, they are not the same. 

Meaning

Garnet is known as a precious gemstone that consist of a deep-red vitreous silicate mineral. It is a sensual gemstone that symbolizes prosperity, love, purification, friendship, light, and vitality. For centuries, it has been used as a sacred stone and it is believed that it was one of the twelve gemstones in the breastplate of the high priest. 

Origin and History

The derivation of the word Garnet is from the 14th century Middle English "gernet" which means "dark-red". In the late 1990s, Spessartine Garnet was discovered in Bekily, Madagascar and Tsavorite Garnet was first discovered in Tanzania. The deposits of Bohemian Garnets were in central Europe around 1500 increasing the availability of Red Garnets.

Garnets as beads in a necklace were found in a grave of a young man and by looking at the grave, it was from around 3000 BC. This proves that these stones have been used way back in ancient times. Thousand of years ago, Egypt Pharaohs also wore Red Garnets as necklaces. It was believed that King of Saxony owned a Garnet over 465 carats. 

Pyrope Almandine Grape Garnet.
Pyrope Almandine Grape Garnet.
Image Source: Gem Rock Auctions

Formation Process

Garnets are most commonly formed in metamorphic and only a few are formed in igneous rocks. It forms when shale, a fine-grained, clastic sedimentary rock is treated with heat and intense pressure which is sufficient to produce schist or gneiss.

Formula

Garnets are nesosilicate, formerly called orthosilicate having the general formula X3Y2(SiO4)3. It is rated 6.5-7.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness and has a specific gravity of 3.1-4.3.

Types

Six types of Garnets are as follows:

  • Pyrope
  • Almandine
  • Spessartite
  • Grossularite
  • Uvarovite
  • Andradite

Colors Available

Garnets are available in almost all colors and some of them are given as follows:

  • Red
  • Green
  • Yellow
  • Purple
  • Black
  • Brown
  • Blue
  • Colorless

Mines Available

Different types of Garnets are found across the world and some of them are as follows:

  • Hooper Garnet Mine, North River, Warren Co., New York, USA
  • The Big Hole Mine, Kimberly, South Africa
  • Barton Mines, North Creek, New York
  • Emerald Creek Garnet Area, St. Maries, Idaho
  • Little Pine Garnet, North Carolina, USA

Cost Per Carat

The price of Garnets having good colors along with some inclusions can range from $500 to $7000. Demantoid Garnet is extremely rare and valuable than other Garnets and its price can reach up to $10000. In 2003, a Blue Garnet gemstone of 4.2 carats was sold for $6.8 million. Kunz Garnet is the largest Garnet ever found weighing an astounding 10 lbs. and it was 15 inches in diameter.

Round Brilliant Cut Demantoid Garnet.
Round Brilliant Cut Demantoid Garnet.
Image Source: Flickr

Uses

Garnets can be used in many ways and some of its uses are:

  • Waterjet Cutting
  • Abrasive Blasting
  • Filtration
  • Abrasive Powders
  • Jewelry

Spiritual Properties

Garnets are highly valued for their amazing spiritual and healing properties. Some of the properties are listed below:

  • It balances the energy and sex drive, reduces emotional disharmony, promotes love, and strengthens courage.
  • As it helps to open and balance the Base, Sacral, Solar Plexus and, Heart Chakras, it is highly regarded as spiritual stone.
  • It heightens creativity, confidence, and self-empowerment.
  • It helps to aid illness, regenerate new cell growth, stimulate the blood and improves digestion.

Facts

Interesting facts about Garnet:

  • Ancient warriors wore it during battles to promote victory.
  • In 1892, the Hunza tribe fought the British using Garnet bullets in their firearms thinking that it is more dangerous than Lead.

Jewelry Stores Near you

Some of the famous Garnet jewelry stores near you are:

  • Granát Turnov, Prague, Czech Republic
  • Garnet Jewelry, Austin, TS, USA
  • Michael Hill Aberdeen, Kamloops, BC, Canada

Online Store

The famous online stores where affordable and high-quality Garnets jewelry are found are listed below:


Visit Stoneharu for more information about stones and gems.