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The name garnet is from the Latin word granatus which originated when garnet grains in rock were compared to the dark red seeds of the pomegranate fruit.

Pyralspite is derived from the names of the three garnet species in its group: Pyrope, Almandine, and Spessartite, with 'ite' added to the end.

Almandine was named after the ancient locality Alabander in Asia minor, where once many garnets were cut and polished.

Pyrope is from the Greek for fire-like, refering to its color.

Spessartine was named for a locality in the Spessart district in Bavaria.

Andradite was named after the Portuguese mineralogist d'Andrade.

Grossular was named after the gooseberry R. grossularia, because of the similar pale green color of the original specimens.

Uvarovite is named after the Russian mineralogist Count Sergei Simonovitch Uvarov.

Rhodolite is from the Greek rhodon meaning rose, refering to its color.

Malaia is from the Swahili word malia meaning out of the family, refering to the fact that this garnet variety typically has some distinctively different physical properties than other garnets found in the same area.

Tsavorite is named after the Tsavor Game Preserve of Kenya, near which it was discovered.

Demantoid is from the French demant meaning diamond, in allusion to its similar brilliance.

Melanite is from the Greek melanos meaning black, refering to its color.

Topazolite named after its similarity to yellow topaz.

Garnets have been used as gemstones for many thousands of years. In ancient times they were known as carbuncles, as were other red gems. They were in the 'Breastplate of Judgement' of Aaron, described in the bible (Exodus: xxviii, 15-30).The Koran states that the fourth heaven is composed of carbuncle. In Vedic astrology( 1000's of years older than western astrology and still practiced by millions today), the brownish-orange/red hessonite garnet has long been a preferred talisman for warding off the evil influences of the celestial body named Rahu.

Garnet was considered a sacred stone by many native indian tribes of North, South and Central America.

In 1892, the Hunzas used bullets made of garnet against the British troops in Kashmir, believing them to be more deadly than lead.

Historically, garnets were believed to give protection from wounds and poison, to stop bleeding and to symbolize truth & fidelity, and bring prosperity.

As gemstones, garnets today are more popular than ever. Some of the newer varieties have only become available in recent years.

Garnets are also used today for a number of abrasive purposes.

Garnet is the birthstone for the month of January.

Garnet is the symbolic gemstone for the 18th wedding anniversity.

The astrological signs of garnet are Leo, Virgo, Capricorn and Aquarius.


Garnets are said to enhance creativity and understanding, and to bring success in business. They also are said to strengthen willpower and increase self-esteem and popularity.

Garnets are also said to help in the treatment of infectious diseases, blood poisoning, and heart & lung diseases.

The following properties are attributed to some of the specific garnet varieties:

Almandine is said to be particularly usefull for strengthening the heart, to inspire love and to perceive truth.

Andradite is said to give vitality and to help prevent fears, insecurity, and feelings of loneliness.

Pyrope is said to enhance understanding and wisdom.

Rhodolite is said to facilitate meditation and enhance intuition, and to inspire love.

Tsavorite is said to facilitate meditation, and to enhance spiritual awareness and telepathic abilities.

Garnet rough and facet stone