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Garnet (GAR-nit) gets its name from the Latin word granatum, which means “pomegranate”, since the dark red varieties resemble the shape and colour of a pomegranate seed. Though it is usually thought of as being a dark red colour, it can be many colours, including black, green, brown, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and even colourless. There are actually five types of garnet: pyrope, almandine, spessartine, grossularite, andradite, and uvarovite. The well-known red garnets available commercially are most commonly pyrope or almandine. The rose-red to violet tone of some gemstone-quality pyrope or pyrope-almandine blends is known as rhodolite (not to be confused with rhodonite). Two common specific variants of garnet are hessonite and tsavorite, both being types of grossularite. Red garnet gemstones are very affordable. Garnet’s use as a gemstone dates back to ancient Egypt and has been used by man since the late Bronze Age.

Garnet has a Mohs hardness ranging from 6.5 to 7.5 and an isometric crystal structure.

Garnet is the birthstone for January; since it is a relatively inexpensive stone, there is no alternate stone for this month.

Location:  Garnet can be found all over the world. The red varieties are commonly found in China, Brazil, India, Madagascar, Myanmar (Burma), South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and the United States. Rhodolite is found in mostly in Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the United States.

Properties:  Garnet promotes prosperity and gives dreams a foundation in the physical realm. For this reason, some use it to promote success in business ventures. It can draw out negative energies and transmute them into beneficial ones. It is regarded as a stone of commitment and devotion, whether to a person, task, or purpose. Garnet can help someone who feels abandoned to embrace the transience of all things and look at this truth as an opportunity to encounter fresh and new experiences. It has the ability to balance energy flow within and around the body, facilitating self-reflection and the conscious, intentional transformation of inner processes (especially thoughts and feelings). If one is attempting such transformative actions of inner processes, garnet provides a calming, protective quality. Red garnet in particular is regarded as a stone of protection during travel and constancy in friendships. It can also help with anger, especially that which is directed at oneself. It is believed that red garnet can help with correction of cardiovascular problems, regulation of internal rhythms, and normalization of blood pressure. It may help with disorders of the spine, bones, heart, lungs, and blood. Many believe it can help with regenerative processes in general.

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