This popular and affordable gem is found all over the world in all colours from red (Pyrope) and green (Tzavorite), to pink (Rhodolite), yellow (Andradite), and everything in between. The colour blue was absent until blue pyrope–spessartine garnets were discovered in 1990 in Madagascar. It changes colour from blue-green to purple depending on the colour temperature of viewing light.
Due to its color-changing quality, this kind of garnet resembles Alexandrite – which should be noted, is a totally different mineral. Though it has been found in a few other places as well, it is still very rare and highly expensive.
History & Legends
The name is believed to have been derived from the Greek word “granatum”, meaning “pomegranate seed”.
Some Asiatic tribes used red garnets as bullets for sling bows because they pierced the victims quickly, and could not be seen well in the body when they mingled with the blood.
There is some speculation whether garnets were buried with dead in order to offer protection during the death experience or offering of payment for safe passage to the underworld. Garnets are also used for protection during any other travel.
Garnet jewellery has been found that date back as far as the Bronze Age (3500 to 1200 BC).
During the 13th Century, the gemstone was commonly worn to repel insects, evil spirits and ward off the evil eye.
In the Koran, the garnet illuminates the fourth heaven of Islam.
Legend has it that Noah kept a garnet on the bow of his ark to help him navigate at night.
Garnets have been valued as a sacred stone by South and North American Indians, Aztecs, African tribes and the Mayans.
The use of red garnet was used by Egyptian pharaohs for both decorative and ceremonial purposes. On statues of the Egyptian nature goddess Isis, garnets are often found on her ceremonial belt to represent her blood and power.
Ancient Romans also wore garnet rings and traded garnet gemstones.
Garnet is a power stone that has long been associated with passion, love and sensuality. This is also a good stone to help you through emotional trauma; set in silver it has a wonderfully soothing effect.
Goldfish Jewellery Design Studio works with all precious metals, stones and diamonds. For further information, please contact us.