Garnet is the gemstone associated with the month of January.
Garnet is associated with the zodiac sign Aquarius.
Mandarin Garnet is an Aluminum and Manganese Silicate and is a variety of the Spessartine Garnet family. It owes its orange color to the presence of 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.
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.
Due to the 1994 discovery in Southwest Nigeria, Mandarin Garnet is once again available in reasonable amounts. However, large sizes and/or top quality stones remain rare.
Mandarin Garnet was first discovered in 1991 along the Kunene River in Namibia, though these deposits have now been exhausted. Thankfully, a new occurrence was discovered in April 1994 in Southwest Nigeria, allowing this truly unique and beautiful gemstone to remain in the gem trade.
Mandarin Garnet is rated at 7 - 7.5 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness, making it durable and resistant to everyday wear and tear. Mandarin Garnet is the orange colored variety of the Spessartine family that has gained worldwide popularity over the past decade, particularly with orange gemstone lovers. Its color, which is extremely consistent from stone to stone, is an intensely fine bright orange, ranging from a rich peach to a deep red-orange. Some stones will display undertones of brown, though this is considered to be less desirable. In addition to their stunning color, Mandarin Garnets have a remarkably high refraction of light, allowing exceptional brilliance and fire to be exhibited, even in unfavorable light conditions.
Mandarin Garnet's color, brilliance, and rarity have made it one of the most desired and sought-after orange gemstones on the market today.
Mandarin Garnets are generally faceted as this brings out the stone's unique color and brilliance, allowing its tremendous sparkle of fire to display at its full potential.
There are no known treatments for Mandarin Garnet.
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 store your Mandarin Garnet jewelry in a fabric-lined box, away from other jewelry items so as to avoid damage / scratching.