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General: Garnet

           U.S., Pakistan, South Africa, Argentina, Sri Lanka, Australia, Brazil, Myanmar, Scotland, Switzerland, Tanzania.

          Garnet is the name of a class of isostructural minerals (with symmetrical, cube-based crystals) that form under high temperatures and pressures. Many garnets are composed of combinations of the garnet varieties. Garnets come in a wide variety of colors – oranges, purples, browns, black, pinks, and reds – and there are more varieties than can be listed here. The most common are almandite, andradite, grossular, pyrope, spessartine, and uvarovite.
           Almandite (almandine) garnet may be found around the world and can be a dark brown-red (even almost black) to pink-red in color. Andradite garnet may be black, yellow, red, brown, or emerald-green (which is very rare and expensive). Grossular garnet is called hessionite when it is cinnamon orange and is called tsavorite garnet when it is pink and green. Pyrope, meaning “similar to fire” in Latin, is a ruby red garnet tinted by iron and chromium. Spessartine (spessarite) garnet is bright orange to dark red to brown and is named after mountains in Bavaria here it was first found. Uvarovite is an emerald green garnet. Mandarin garnet is bright to brownish orange. Mozambique garnet, a dark red stone, is a combination of pyrope and almandite. Purple garnet is almandine and spessarite. Rhodolite garnet, a raspberry to pink red stone, is a mixture of almandite and pyrope, and its name comes from Greek meaning “rose stone.” Imperial garnet is light pink and very rare. Thai garnet has a deep blood red color. Umbalite garnet, light pink or purple in color, is a combination of pyrope, almandite, and spessarite. The dark brown-red malaya garnet are now highly valued, but were originally considered worthless, which explains why it was named “worthless” in Swahili.

Birthdays & Anniversaries:
          Garnet is the modern, as well as Ayurvedic, Hebrew, Arabic, and Roman, birthstone for January. It is also the birthstone for Aquarius and the alternative for Capricorn. Red garnet is the 2nd anniversary gemstone and tsavorite garnet is the gemstone for the 25th wedding anniversary.

          Garnet’s name comes from the latin word granatus, which means “grain.” This might be a reference to the color of the seeds of the pomegranate fruit.
           Garnet has been around for quite awhile. The Egyptians were using garnet for jewelry, amulets, and talismans as early as 3100 BC. Garnet jewelry from 2300BC was found, and pieces from 1100 to 2000 BC were discovered in Sweden. Around 400BC the Greeks were using garnet to make signet rings - the first of their kind. In the Middle Ages, garnet was believed to provide protection from poison and to cure infections and blood sicknesses.
           Garnets are also mentioned in the Christian bible; Noah was said to have lit the way for his ark with a lamp of garnet, it was one of the twelve stones in the breastplate of the high priest Aaron, and it’s believed that King Solomon wore garnet into battle.
           Garnet is the US State Gemstone of Connecticut and New York. Star garnet is the US State Gemstone of Idaho. Grossular garnet is the US State Mineral of Vermont.

Crystal Healing:
          Garnet is considered to be good protection from toxins, and is used to treat food poisoning, blood toxicity, and kidney infection. It is also known as an aid for heart and blood disorders, spinal issues, arthritis, muscular problems, and sleeping disorders. Garnet is used to treat jaundice and fever and to balance the antibodies and hormones.
          Garnet is associated with the 1st and 2nd chakras, and is valued for clearing away negative energy from these areas. At the 1st chakra (base/root/spine) garnet is used to draw in and filter positive energies from wherever there is excess within the body and help stabilize the foundation. Within the 2nd chakra (navel/spleen/sexual), garnet is known as a vehicle for the passionate, romantic, and spiritual aspects of sexuality.
           Garnet is recognized as a stone of passionate devotion, bringing out the positive qualities, enhancing the senses, stimulating motivation, increasing creativity and perseverance. Garnet is used to treat nightmares.