The term garnet comes from the Latin word malum granatum, a grapefruit, which means pomegranate. Indeed, the grains of this leaking fruit as well as its shiny colour strongly recalls these gems. It has a very wide colour palette and the red stones go particularly well with yellow, pink or champagne gold, like Monica Rossi's beautiful Anaconda rings. Garnet is the birthstone of the month of January and is traditionally offered to celebrate the second wedding anniversary.
Garnet refers to a family of minerals belonging to the group of Silicates. Garnets are translucent to non-transparent, their brilliance is glassy to resinous, greasy, silky, their crystalline system is cubic. The word garnet evokes naturally this warm red colour which corresponds to the most current version of this fine stone. However, variations in the chemical composition of this mineral allow the existence of purple, green, brown and yellow garnets. The Mozambique garnet is ruby-coloured, the Malaya garnet is orange, the rhodolite garnet is purple pink, the raspberry rhodolite is red-pink, the spessartite is orange-red, the hessonite is the caramel, the demantoid is a fresh green and Tsavorite looks like an emerald. Only blue is not represented in the multicolored range of garnet. There are even very rare examples that change color in the light of a candle, in some deposits of Madagascar ...
The deposits of garnets are rather abundant. These minerals are found in magmatic rocks, in pegmatites and in particular in metasomatic rocks by contact with magma, resulting in the reorganization of the minerals and their crystallization. They are numerous in the crystalline schists, and by degradation of the rocks, they are sometimes found in quantity in the alluviums. For the record, the micaschists of Ile de Groix, in Brittany, contain innumerable garnets. The main garnet extractor countries today are Tanzania, India and Madagascar. Other deposits are found in Russia, Mali, Canada, Brazil ...
Garnet is considered to be a stone of transformation. It has the capacity to help overcome difficulties and grow from them, to transcend passionnante love and enhance sexual energy. Saint Hildegard of Bingen, an 11th century Benedictine nun who healed with stones, believed that garnet strengthened the heart. This stone could boost vital energy, and regulate blood circulation. It would also protect against poison. Not recommended for jealous and angry temperaments, it is more suitable for calm personalities. This energizing stone could also helps fight against fatigue and apathy and purify chakras.
At the time of the Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder, garnets were called carbuncles. In Rome, Greece, as in ancient Egypt, garnets were often carved and represented animals or faces. The Bible tells that to steer his ark in the darkness of the Flood, Noah lit up with a garnet lantern. The Qur'an states that the fourth heaven is made up of carbuncles. The Vikings used garnets during funeral ceremonies, thinking they had the ability to guide the dead to their paradise, Valhalla. The Museum of National Antiquities of Saint-Germain-en-Laye houses Merovingian jewelry with garnets. In the eighteenth century European courtiers loved to adorn themselves with Bohemian garnets. The warriors of the Hunza principality in northern Pakistan, under British control in 1891, fired on the British in Kashmir with garnet bullets, believing that their blood-red colour gave them a more lethal character ...
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