10 February 2023
We may usher in the new year with a blog about January's birthstone: the Garnet! The garnet symbolises peace, prosperity and good health, making it the perfect stone to start the year with.
The garnet is known as a deep red crystal and is therefore often associated with fire and strength. However, what many people do not know is that the garnet exists in many more colours. As such, the garnet is said to have the widest colour range of any gemstone. The deep red colour is the most common colour, though. Because of this red colour, the garnet is often compared to the ruby. The rarest colour for a garnet is one with blue tones.
The name garnet is derived from the Latin word "Granatum", which stands for "with grains". The name of the fruit Malus Granatus, better known as the pomegranate, is derived from this. The gemstone garnet resembles the seeds of this red fruit. Moreover, the term "grain" refers to the stone's hardness. In fact, the garnet is one of the hardest gemstones in existence. In areas where the garnet is widely mined, the deep red gemstone often has its own name such as the Arizona Spinel, Arizona ruby, the New Mexico and the Montana ruby.
This gemstone also has a rich history. The garnet has long been used by tribes and cults as a talisman for protection. Ancient Egyptians praised the gemstone as the symbol of life. Scientists have discovered that the stone was already used in the so-called Bronze Age (3300 - 1200 BC), as remains of necklaces with garnet have been found in tombs of the Czechoslovakians. Jewellery with garnet has also been found in Egyptian tombs and graves from 3100 BC. In the third and fourth centuries (AD), Rome was the fashion and trade city. Legionaries of various sects wore the garnet as a talisman to protect against injury and death. Ironically, it is additionally claimed that the grenade brings peace and tranquillity to the wearer....
Garnets can be very large, but also enormously small. The gemstone is often released by weathering, as garnets are harder than the surrounding rock. Thus, they can be washed away by rivers and seas. It is extraordinary, but because of this natural phenomenon, we can find garnet even in the Netherlands. You will only need a microscope to find out whether your brownish-red sand grain is a real garnet.
Want to look for larger garnets? Then you still don't have to travel far! In Scotland, you have the area of Ruby Bay where many garnets have already been found. Are you a real traveller and prefer to go a bit further from home? You can also find garnet in Tanzania, Australia, Argentina, South Africa, Brazil, the United States and Myanmar (Burma). Have you found a gemstone yourself and want to incorporate it into a piece of jewellery? Contact us about the possibilities!
Do you think looking for gemstones yourself is just a bridge too far? Then take a look at www.diamondsbyme.nl. We have plenty of garnet in stock. We also have the largest online jewellery collection in which we can process garnet for you! Do you prefer another gemstone? Of course you can! Go to www.diamondsbyme.co.uk and design your own jewellery!