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Garnet

Red garnet necklaces were worn by the pharaohs in ancient Egypt.

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Facts

SPECIES/GROUP : Garnet

CLASSIFICATION : Gemstone

Origin

Garnet is compromised of a group of minerals with an identical structure, not one single element. Garnet minerals are mixable to the extent that stones consisting of only one pure garnet mineral are rare. Primary sources include Brazil, India, Madagascar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the US and Tanzania.

Name

The name is derived from the Latin word ‘granatum’ (pomegranate). Garnet crystals were said to resemble the red seeds of the fruit. When used alone, the word garnet normally refers to a red garnet.

PROCESSING

Cutting and polishing only.

APPEARANCE

Garnets are most commonly red and garnets may be any colour other than blue. Pandora uses predominantly red (garnet) to red-purple (rhodolite) variations.

Care

Avoid rough handling and when not being worn, store items of jewellery separately to avoid scratches. Clean with warm, soapy water and gentle brushing. Ultrasonic cleaners should only be used with caution. Do not expose garnets to sudden changes in temperature.

Durability

Garnet has a hardness of 7-7.5 on the Mohs scale and fair to good toughness. This makes it relatively durable, although it is prone to damage caused by thermal shock.

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MYTHOLOGY & ASSOCIATION

There are many myths and legends surrounding the garnet. Garnets have been found in Bronze Age burial sites and many associate the stone with protection in the afterlife. There is also a legend that Noah hung a garnet on the ark to light his way through the dark and stormy nights of God’s wrath. And travellers have long carried garnets to ensure a safe, speedy homecoming. Like most red stones, the garnet is also linked to the heart, passion and blood, symbolizing vitality. Garnet is believed to bring benefits to the holders: During the Middle Ages, red stones were believed to stop bleeding and garnets were used to prevent or cure blood disorders and other illnesses. The garnet is also regarded as a stone of devotion; to your family, friends and yourself, and is often considered a gift of eternal love.

Other gemstones

Learn more about other stone assortments