Garnet is the gemstone associated with the month of January.
Garnet is associated with the zodiac sign Aquarius.
Malaya Garnet's chemical composition is a mixture of many Garnet species, including Grossular, Spessartine, Almandine and Pyrope. The color of the these Garnets is due to Iron and Manganese 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.
The name Malaya is derived from Swahili which firstly means “out of the family”, and secondly means “prostitute” because it does not fit into any traditional garnet category. Originally the miners had a difficult time marketing the gemstone because dealers did not want to offer any price for the strange gem with no identity.
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.
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 also effective at opening other chakras, depending upon the color of the stone in question.
Though the Malaya Garnets are today moderately priced, their increasing popularity and continued lack of production could spell an upward pressure on prices. Stones over three carats in size are incredibly rare and are naturally very expensive.
Malaya Garnets were discovered in the mid 1960's in the Umba River valley bordering Tanzania and Kenya, and today this region is still the primary source for this beautiful gemstone. There are also smaller deposits found throughout Eastern and Central Africa.
Malaya Garnet is rated at 7 - 7.5 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness, making it durable and resistant to everyday wear and tear. Malaya Garnets can be found in a wide array of colors including a yellowish-brown, brownish-pink, cinnamon, honey brown, reddish brown, peach, and pinkish-orange. The rarest and most beautiful Malaya colors are a honey-peach, cinnamon, and the pinkish-orange. Malaya Garnets will also exhibit scintillating red flashes that give the stone a brilliance that is almost incomparable to other Garnet varieties.
The most desirable and sought-after stones are those that display a well-balanced bright peach or pinkish-orange color. Clarity and carat weight are both important factors when evaluating Malaya Garnet, and lastly, it is very important to consider well-cut stones as this will ensure that the maximum amount of brilliance is displayed by the gem.
Malaya Garnets are usually cut into the shape / cut that will show the least amount of color darkness. The shapes most effective for doing this are Cabochons, Cushion, Oval and Round.
There are no known treatments for Malaya Garnets.
Care & Cleaning:
A Garnet can be cleaned using warm, soapy water and a soft brush. An ultrasonic cleaner is safe for most Garnets but not for all, so should be used with caution. Garnet should be kept away from chemicals that will cause it to erode such as hydrofluoric acid. Garnet should also be kept away from drastic temperature changes as this may cause fracturing.
Always keep your Malaya Garnet jewelry in a fabric-lined box, away from other jewelry, in order to avoid any damage / scratching.