Fun Facts About Garnet

Garnet is a beautiful and popular gemstone, but there's more to this precious stone than meets the eye. Here are some interesting facts about garnet that you might not know!

  • Garnet gemstones are the official birthstone for January, and red garnet is also the official gemstone for the second and 18th wedding anniversaries.

  • Although commonly referred to as a gemstone, garnet refers to a group of minerals. Some of these minerals are of gem quality and thus called gemstones.

  • The most common garnet gemstones are deep red, though sometimes found in green.

  • Some garnet stones are even colorless, but this is rare. When pure, Grossular garnet is colorless; however, it is also the garnet with the most color variations due to the impurities it picks up.

  • Popular garnet species include the green demantoid garnet, the orange spessartite garnet, the red pyrope garnet, and the pink rhodolite garnet.

  • Some believe the name garnet originates from the Latin word granatum, which means pomegranate, a plant with red seeds.

  • While others believe garnet originates from the Middle English word, 'gernet,' which means dark red.

  • The mining of garnet crystals occurs in Asia and America, and Europe.

  • The clarity of garnet varies depending on the variety. The red garnets almandine, pyrope, and rhodolite, for example, rarely have noticeable inclusions. Eye-visible inclusions are standard in some orange garnets, such as spessartine and hessonite.

  • Garnet stones form in lava bombs, river rocks, and chromium garnet deposits in India and Burma.

  • Garnets come in all sizes and weights. Some garnets, like demantoid and tsavorite, are more commonly found in small sizes, so their value increases significantly with size. Other garnets, like almandine, are far more common in larger sizes, so there’s no dramatic rise in value as size increases.

  • Garnet crystals have the potential to last for thousands of years with proper care. Depending on the type, a Garnet stone falls between 6.5 – and 7.5 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, depending on the species.

  • People have mistaken glass stones for garnet. Simulated glass stones can look very similar to red garnet stones.

  • Doublets are when a piece of genuine garnet is fused to a piece of glass to create a larger stone for less money.

  • Garnet is a passionate stone closely linked to love and deep friendship.

  • Garnet dates as far back as 3800 BC, the time of the ancient Egyptians, was discovered in Egyptian art, and was an important symbol of good health.

  • Garnet dates back to ancient Rome. In Roman scholar Pliny's time (23 to 79 AD), red garnets were among the most widely traded gems.

  • In ancient Rome, signet rings with carved garnets stamped the wax securing important documents.

  • Plato, had his portrait engraved on a garnet stone by a Roman engraver.

  • Many ancient cultures viewed garnet as a sacred stone, such as the Native American Indians, the South American Indians, the Aztecs, the African tribal elders, and the Mayans in the Middle Ages (about 475 to 1450 AD).

  • Czechoslovakia was one of the largest garnet jewelry producers and manufacturers from the 14th through 19th centuries.

  • Bohemian garnets were popular in the Victorian era. If ever there was a period that prized garnets on a mass scale, it was the Victorian era. Bohemian garnets from Eastern Europe were used as accents in marvelous cluster pieces; thus, garnets were used in engagement rings, mourning jewelry, and anywhere they could fit it.

  • Some believe that garnet can energize and revitalize the wearer, increase their strength and vitality, improve circulation, and enhance karma.

We hope you enjoyed learning some interesting facts about garnet! This beautiful gemstone has a long and rich history and will continue to be popular for many years to come.