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As Noah of biblical fame ventured out into the risen waters of the flood to carry Earth’s paired surviving creatures to dry land, the only light said to have shone aboard his famous ark was that of a giant garnet stone. Once valued by travellers for its perceived ability to light up the night and protect its carrier, (it actually just has a very high refraction index), this is the perfect stone to don as we head into the new, uncharted waters of 2017, and set our sights on this year’s fresh goals and resolutions.
While many of us associate garnet with the deep, rich, red gemstone we see in jewelry, the stone actually comes in bright red, emerald green, and a deep yellowish olive color. This beautiful gemstone has been prized by cultures across the planet for 5000 years, yet it is no less arresting in the modern day as an adornment that communicates a rich, noble character and a passion for life.
The Story of Garnet
Garnet’s popularity has earned it many nicknames and misnomers, including Arizona Ruby, Carbuncle, and Cinnamon Stone, but the official name “garnet” originates from our Latin predecessors, who associated its color with the gemlike seeds of the pomegranate fruit, or granatum. Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians all sought the stone’s rich quality for their jewelry. In Medieval Europe, garnet was used to increase faith and truth, and to dispel melancholy. Later, in the Victorian era, this stone gained significant popularity in jewelry and was generally found set with multiple small stones, much like the pomegranate seeds.
While there are notably six varieties of garnet, we typically see two types in jewelry. Smaller stones are generally pyrope while the larger almandine is used for focal, central stones, due to the natural formation of each. In these modern times, garnet’s usage goes beyond decorative, and it is used widely in industrial markets for everything from watch gears and scientific tools to sandpaper and abrasives.
Garnet’s Special Significance
In addition to its historically celebrated protective qualities, garnet is known as a reducer of body toxins, a purifier of blood and vital organs, and for assisting in the assimilation of vitamins and minerals. It is said to bring serenity or passion (as needed), balance energy and the sex drive, and luck in love, business, and general success.
Garnet is an extremely versatile gemstone, perfect for everyday wear due to its durable nature. Yet, it is also appropriate as an elegant centerpiece to a more formal ensemble. Its deep red color goes beautifully with light or dark clothing, or with a dark green or blue for an especially royal look.
We love garnet for its understated charm, with a sparkle that enchants rather than blinds and draws you into a rich, wine-hued mood in which life is nothing but to be enjoyed. Set your year off right with this timelessly beloved gem!