Garnets are some of the world’s oldest and most consistently used gemstone. While most people immediately associate this gemstone with a red color, garnets actually come in a very wide array of colors and tones. A variety of reds, yellows, oranges, greens and browns make up the pallet of garnets. In fact, the term garnet refers to a family of six distinct mineral compositions that then branch off into an even wider group of combinations.
Since rough red garnet is generally very common, it is usually inexpensive in its polished form. Nevertheless, orange spessartite stones, green tsavorites and demantoids can command very high prices, as does the red variety know as ant-hill garnet – This particular kind of garnet is cut from rough stones brought to the surface by a certain ant as it builds its ant hill.
While many, if not most, gemstones are mined underground, garnets are not. Garnets are actually commonly found as small pebbles in streams and watery places, where the igneous and metamorphic rocks that contain them have weathered away. These pebbles are found in many places around the world, including North and South America, Australia, and India.
Through the ages, garnets have been used for many things aside from jewelry – soldiers have carried garnets with them into battle to protect themselves from injury or death, Ancient Greek sailors carried them for good luck and Ancient Romans used carved garnets in signet rings to stamp wax seals on important documents.
Over the years, garnet has been a symbol of peace, health, and deep friendship. Garnet was also thought to enhance karma – Do good while wearing the stone and more good will be bestowed upon you. People also believed that garnets had healing powers that cure illnesses, alleviate depression and ward off evil spirits.
Overall, a pretty amazing gemstone! If you are interested in having a custom jewelry piece created that incorporates garnets, we have a wide selection and can source any other type of gemstone also, with ease.