Garnet is the gemstone for the month of January.
Garnet is associated with the zodiac sign Aquarius.
Grossular Garnet is a Calcium Aluminum Silicate, with its wide array of colors caused by various trace mineral impurities.
History & Lore:
The name Garnet comes from the Latin word granatium which means “pomegranate”. Many believe that Garnet was likened to the the pomegranate because its coloration is similar to that of the seeds of the fruit.
Grossular is derived from the botanical name for gooseberry, 'grossularia', because of the similar pale green color of the original specimens.
It is believed that Noah used a huge Garnet to illuminate the night to help steer his ark to safety. Garnets have also been used by many explorers and travelers as it is believed to protect the wearer when journeying far from home.
Garnets have also been set in shields, armor, and buckles by crusaders for it is believed that it gives protection from wounds & stops bleeding. Many native tribes from North, Central, and South America wore Garnets to ward off evil influences and spirits.
The Hunzas used Garnet bullets to fend off the British troops during their quarrel of 1982, believing that it was stronger and more deadly then lead.
Grossular Garnet is the US State Mineral of Vermont.
Garnet is said to be the stone of romantic love and passion, enhancing sensuality, sexuality, and intimacy. It is said to awaken creativity, positive energy, and self-confidence, and can bring success to one's career or business. Garnets have been thought to treat infectious diseases, blood poisoning, and heart and lung diseases. It is also a protective stone, which is effective for protection from evil and nightmares, and one that can be used for spiritual healing. Whilst Garnet is primarily associated with the root chakra, it is effective at opening other chakras, depending upon the color of the stone in question.
The availability of a Grossular Garnets differs from one variety to the next. Please refer to a specific Grossular Garnet variety for more information regarding availability.
There are known Grossular Garnet deposits in Africa, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Mexico, Myanmar (Burma), Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and the United States.
Garnet is rated at 6.5 - 7.5 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness, making it durable and resistant to everyday wear and tear. Grossular is the most varicolored of the Garnet species, being found in every color except those with a blue tint. Pure Grossular, without any impurities, is in fact colorless and is prized by collectors. An identifying characteristic of many Grossular Garnets is a particular inclusion known as a treacle. When viewed under a microscope, this treacle will appear as swirled patterns. These patterns are created by tiny included crystals.
Hessonite is a Grossular Garnet ranging from a deep yellow to brown, and is the most famous of the species. Tsavorite is the rarest of Grossular Garnets, cherished for it's green coloration and fantastic brilliance. The pink varieties also tend to be quite rare and include such Grossular Garnets as Landerite, Rosolite, and Imperial Garnet. The colorless, transparent variety is known as a Leuco and the rich red variety is known as Raspberry. Other varieties include Essonite, Cinnamon Stone, Gooseberry, and African Jade.
The factors involved when evaluating the value of a Grossular Garnet will naturally differ from one variety to the next, though eye-clean stones with strong color saturation, particularly in larger sizes will demand a premium.
Grossular Garnets are cut according to the shape / cut that will influence the least amount of darkness in its color. Oval and Cushion are the most common cuts, closely followed by Round, which is then followed by the other recognized cut shapes / styles.
There are no known treatments for Grossular Garnet.
Care & Cleaning:
A Grossular Garnet can be cleaned using warm, soapy water and a soft brush. An ultrasonic cleaner is safe for most Grossular Garnets but not for all, so should be used with caution. Grossular Garnets should be kept away from chemicals that will cause it to erode such as hydrofluoric acid. Grossular Garnet should also be kept away from drastic temperature changes as this may cause fracturing. Always store your Grossular Garnet jewelry in a fabric-lined box, away from other jewelry items in order to avoid damage / scratching.