In this article, I would like to talk to you about Garnets – the gemstone for those born in the month of January, but also a very diverse stone. Most people have seen Garnet in its most popular color, which is an orangey-brown. It is called a Mozambique Garnet for that is where it is predominantly mined. However, Garnets do come in just about every other color of the rainbow, except for blue. There are Pyrope Garnets that are an amazing red color almost giving the appearance of being a ruby. You may also be familiar with the Rhodolite Garnet that has more of a lavender shade or a deep, intense purpleviolety shade. The term Rhodolite comes from the Greek word "Rhodo" meaning rose, and "Lithos" meaning stone. Thus we have Rhodolite. And Rhododendron is the actual term we have from the color of the Garnet when it was found in North Carolina. The Rhodolite Garnet typically hails from Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, and India. The Pyrope Garnet is found in the United States in Utah and Arizona. And you may not have heard of the Tsavorite Garnet. It is a stone that was introduced into jewelry back in the mid to later 1970’s from Tiffany and Company. The Tsavorite Garnet comes from Tanzania and Kenya. It is a very rare gemstone and is not typically found very frequently in 3-carat sizes or larger of fine gem quality. An interesting tidbit about Garnets is that the Asiatic tribes believed that a gemstone that had a blood red color would inflict a wound that would be very deadly, even more so than a lead bullet. So, they used to use the Garnet in place of bullets when they were in battle expecting that they would be even more deadly to their adversaries.
A green species of Garnet that is very rare is the Demantoid Garnet. Generally found in only very small sizes, the Demantoid is a beautiful shade of forest green. It has a horsetail like inclusion, which makes it identifiable over Tsavorite or other green gemstones such a Tourmaline. Garnet was given its name from the Latin word "granitas" meaning "like seeds." And this is derived when it is mined as it grows in a cluster-like rough, which appears to be like pomegranate seeds. If you are one who enjoys the Victorian Era, you will have notice that Garnets were used very extensively and have been made popular as a gemstone during that time. But you will find that Garnets were used as a gemstone and in jewelry long before the time of Christ. In fact, in earlier civilizations, they called Garnet or any other red gemstone "carbuncle." It is a type of gemstone that the ancients thought would cure fever and would keep you in good health. It was supposed to protect the wearer while traveling and produce a calming influence and remove danger when you were wearing it.
Although Garnet is a fairly hard gemstone, it can be abraded fairly easily and should be treated with care. Ultrasonic and steam cleaners are not generally recommended for Garnets. In fact, we recommend for home cleaning that you use toothpaste and warm water. It will clean off any oil or debris that may be attached to the gemstone and by rinsing in warm water will bring the back the Garnet’s beauty and luster.
For the football enthusiast out there who will be watching the Superbowl in January, you may want to consider getting a Garnet for your loved one before the big game. This will insure you great snacks, plenty of comfort and rest while watching the game, and few to no interruptions. Take my word for it, this is advice that works!