The name Garnet comes from Latin granatum, and translates to “many seeds”, with reference to pomegranate seeds. In old Spanish astrology, the garnet symbolized the sun, whilst in Christian tradition the garnet symbolises the blood of Christ. During the Middle Ages, people believed dragons to have eyes made from huge blood red garnets. It is said that to dream of a Garnet will lead to the solution of a mystery.
Garnets have been prized by civilisations throughout history, a necklace has been found with garnet beads that dates back to 3000BC. It was said to be one of the four stones given to King Solomon by God to rule over creation, and Noah was said to have taken a finely cut glowing garnet that helped him tell the difference between night and day when the Sun and Moon stopped shining during the flood. In Muslim lore, the Koran tells us that a Garnet illuminates the Fourth Heaven, whereas in Hindu beliefs the fingernails of the dead demon Vala fell into lotus ponds on earth as Hessonite Garnets.
Garnets have long had an associated with blood, due to their colour. Although many people associate them with healing wounds and invulnerability, some tribes actually used them as bullets with the belief they would cause more deadly wounds than normal bullets. In 1892, the Hanzas used garnet bullets against British troops on the Kashmir frontier.
Garnets actually come in many colours. Spessartine Garnet is a more uncommon and rarer variety of Garnet than the more well known red Almandine and Pyrope varieties. Its reddy-orange colour led to the name Garnet of the Sun, and it takes its name from the Bavarian region of Spessart in Germany.
Melanite is one of the three varieties of Andradite Garnet, the other two being Demantoid (green) and Topazolite (yellow green), both rare and highly desired. Melanite is also referred to as Titanian Andradite, due to the presence of Titanium colouring it black. The name Melanite was assigned to this crystal in 1799 by Abraham Werner, after the Greek word 'melanos' meaning black.
Demantoid Garnets are another variety of Andradite Garnet, and generally regarded as the most valuable of the gem Garnets. The name comes from an old German word for Diamond, in reference to its brilliant shine. Demantoid Garnets were first discovered in 1868 in the western Ural Mountains in Russia, but have since been found in Namibia and Madagascar amongst other places.
Grossular Garnet is a lesser known member of the Garnet family, and its varieties include Tsavorite, Transvaal (often mistaken for Jade) and Hessonite. The most popular shade for Grossular Garnets is green, but they can be found in varying shades of green, yellow and through the oranges and reds.
Tsavorite Garnet is a rare variety of Grossular Garnet often mined in the Manyara Region in Tanzania. Tsavorite was only discovered in the 1960s in Kenya, in the Tsavo region, from which it takes its name.
Uvarovite is a rare bright emerald green member of the Garnet family that was discovered in 1832, and named after Russian statesman and mineral collector Count Sergey Uvarov. Other green Garnet varieties are often mislabeled as Uvarovite, but are usually more common green Garnet varieties such as Grossular or Pyrope garnets coloured by Chromium impurities. They rarely form in single crystals, instead tiny dodecahedral garnets are often found covering a host rock as a druzy coating.
Garnet Metaphysical Properties include:
- Promoting courage, joy and creativity
- Inspiring us to grab the future and embrace change
- Attracting abundance
- Instilling emotional balance
- Encouraging magic and spiritual devotion
- Helps depression and emotional trauma
- Aids with relieving chaos and disruption
Find our Garnet collection here.