The name comes from the latin word "granum" (grain). Thus referring to the round shape of the raw gemstone. The name could also indicate the optical similarity to the red fruits of the pomegranate tree.
Garnets are a set of closely related minerals that form a group, resulting in gems that have a similar crystal structure but can have very different colors. These color variations are caused by the presence of different trace elements. The most well-known color is red but even this color has many varieties in different shades.
Most of the garnets are found in Sri Lanka, South Africa and USA. But there are many more places where the various varieties of garnets come like Afghanistan, Brazil, India, Iran, Myanmar, Pakistan, Russia, and African countries (Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania).
The color range of a granade is very broad. From the well-known red color varieties to pink, purple, green, orange, yellow, brown and black. The varieties of different colors derive from the respective metals contained (manganese, calcium, etc.). Altogether, there are about 38 different types of garnets known.
Here is a summary of the most well-known garnet types:
Mozambique garnet: This garnet can be described as a classic variety, it shows the well-known and popular garnet red, which at first glance reminds of a dark ruby.
Malaya garnet: This garnet comes from east africa and shows an intense orange, sometimes mixed with pink.
Rhodolite: Has a beautiful red tone going into raspberry.
Spessartine: This garnet is named after where it first has been discovered - in the Bavarian Spessart – and shows a nice reddish or red-orange.
Hessonite: This garnet has an intense golden color
Demantoid: This garnet shines in various shades of green.
Tsavorite: The tsavorite is also called "king of the grenade" and is often compared with the emerald or set equal, however the tsavorite are actually much rarer than the green Berylle (emerald).
The garnet is usually cut in faceted form, as its properties are highlighted here particularly well.
Cabochon cut: This shape is an unfaceted, round or oval cut, in which the underside is flat and the top is arched outwards. The cabochon cut accentuates and enhances the shimmer inherent in the stone's structure. Those shimmers are especially vivid in cat's eye quartz, falcon and tiger's eye, moonstone and opals.
Faceted cut: There is wide variety of faceted cuts - some of them are displayed in the picture down below.
The Mohs hardness describes the hardness of a mineral on a scale of 1 to 10 and is named after its inventor, the German mineralogist Friedrich Mohs (1773 - 1839). It is the basis of the hardness test. Friedrich Mohs scored various minerals against each other and arranged them according to their hardness. The scale consists of a series of 10 minerals, each of which "scratches" all standing in front of him. Diamonds have a Mohs hardness of 10 and are therefore the hardest minerals.
1 + 2 can be scratched with the bare fingernail
1 - 5 can be scratched with the knife
6 - 10 can be scratched with pane
The garnet has hardness 6.5-7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale.
Please be aware that most gemstones should not be exposed to direct sunlight for too long since they will gradually bleach and loose their vibrant color. The garnet varieties should also not be exposed to extreme temperatures, as a temperature shock can cause damage.
The best way to care for an garnet is to clean it with warm, soapy water and a soft cloth. Ultrasonic cleaners are usually safe except in rare instances where a stone is dyed or treated by fracture filling.
Not recommended: Steam cleaning and subject to heat.
The garnet is said to be the guardian of true friendship and regulate blood pressure. So it would be the perfect gift for your best friend to feel closer to them and deepen the friendship even more.
The garnet is the birthstone of January. The garnet is as diverse as there are snowflakes that sparkle in the sunshine in a variety of colors. So a perfect add to this maybe a bit colder and greyish month.
Since the garnet itself varies so much in color you should pick the one that suits you best and try to match it with likewise colours in your outfit. If you fancy for example a nice dark red, yellow or rosé gold would be the materials to go for. Matched with red and brownish clothes will make it a great look for autumn months or elegant evening outfits.