Most know garnet as a red gemstone gifted to those born in January. But in truth, it’s not always red, and it’s not only for January babies. It can be used for purposes beyond personal adornment. In the United States, most of its locally sourced garnet is utilized for sandblasting and water jet cutting. Put shortly, it’s also an abrasive tool!
So, what is garnet, exactly? What properties does it have and how can it benefit us? At GEMNIA, we're thrilled to explore this amazing gem that our customers adore!
What is Garnet?
The term garnet refers to a group of six silicate minerals that have similar physical properties and formations, but vary in chemical composition. They come in a variety of colors, with red being the most common. Yet, don’t be surprised if you come across green, orange, pink-orange, brown, purplish red, and the rarest of them all, blue! (It was first discovered in 1990!) In fact, there are even color-changing garnets that shift hues depending on the lighting.
The six types of Garnets species and their colors include:
Almandine: Red, Brown
Andradite: Green, Yellow, Black
Grossular: Green, Yellow, Red, Pink, Clear
Pyrope: Red to Purple
Spessartine: Orange, Red, Brown, and in-between the three
Where are Garnets Found?
Garnets are found globally in The United States, Brazil, Russia, India, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania. They are typically discovered in Kimberlites, or volcanic rocks, which are brought to the surface during an eruption. Kimberlites are also known to be a potential source for diamonds!
Garnet Properties & Meaning
Throughout history, garnets have adorned and safeguarded individuals of many cultures. From Celtic and Saxon rulers seeking protection, to Native Americans trusting in its healing properties against poison and injury, to both Muslim and Christian crusaders wearing it into battle. Even during the Middle Ages, the gem was worn around the neck to aid with sore throats and indigestion.
Today, Garnets are associated with the root chakra and are considered to have physical, emotional, and spiritual healing properties. Many believe them to enhance passion, vitality, creativity, and provide protection against negative energy.
Garnet for the Root Chakra
The root chakra rests at the bottom of the spine and is represented by a vibrant red hue. Garnet is thought to balance and energize the root, fostering feelings of safety, strength, and connection to the earth.
Garnet for Physical Healing
As a gemstone linked to fire, Garnet ignites feelings of passion and is believed to enhance both energy and libido.
Garnet for Emotional Healing
As a crystal that’s believed to balance energy, Garnet makes for a powerful talisman in times of crisis by boosting survival instincts and courage. It’s also known to spark feelings of love and confidence, and has long been regarded as a business-savvy stone.
Garnet for Spiritual Healing
Garnet is believed to offer psychic protection and support self-discovery.
Garnet Meaning by Color:
Red Garnet: Love & Strength
Green Garnet: Growth, Renewal, & Prosperity
Orange Garnet: Endurance, Ambition, & Creativity
Purple Garnet: Wisdom & Insight
Yellow Garnet: Enlightenment
How to Care for Garnets
Garnet is known for its durability, averaging a 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs Scale. However, it's not completely indestructible and should be handled with care to prevent scratches. While it's okay to get wet, repeated exposure to water may cause damage over time. As a precaution, it's best to take off garnet before swimming or bathing.
How to Clean Garnet
Cleanse your stone with a soft brush, mild soap, and lukewarm water. Refrain from using harsh chemicals and avoid steam cleaning, as it may exacerbate any existing cracks in the stone.
Zodiac: Aquarius, Capricorn