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Garnets are known as silicate minerals that have been used as early as the Bronze age as both gemstones and for other material. They are also widely known as the birthstone for the month of January. The name Garnet is originated from the medieval Latin word “granatus” which translate to “pomegranate,” the name is in reference to the similarity of the red color they both have. Garnets come in every color of the rainbow except shades of blue, however the most common garnet is almandine which is a red.
Historically, garnets have been found in jewelry adorned by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. In fact, it was considered to be one of the most popular gemstones during the Victorian era. Ancient Roman leaders not only wore these gems but were known to use garnets for stamping their wax seal onto important letters. Garnet has been known to be used for jewelry for over thousands of years, but it has only recently started being used for industrial uses in the last 150 years.
Garnet can be found in various areas of the world such as South Africa, Sri Lanka, Czechoslovakia, China, India, Afghanistan, Madagascar, Brazil, and United States. From the 14th all the way to the 19th century, Czechoslovakia was known as the largest garnet producers and manufacturers. Garnets are formed within sedimentary rocks with high aluminum content, but can also be found in igneous rocks, granite, and basalt.
Garnets in history have been known to be used and perceived as a sacred stone by ancient civilizations such as the Aztecs, Mayans, and Native Americans. In fact, based in certain beliefs in China the garnet was believed to represent a tiger’s soul after it passed on. In Greek mythology in the story of Persephone and Hades a garnet symbolized a safe and fast return of love along with healing the wounds between lovers. In crystal beliefs it is said that garnet can not only cleanse but re-energize one’s chakras. Also, it is said that it can bring serenity and inspire love and devotion.