Garnet, crystal meaning and properties


Ruby is not the only jewel that boasts a fiery red color. Semi-precious garnet offers the same eye-pleasing appearance but are much friendlier to your wallet. And if you enjoy warm colors but not exactly into red, the stone will gladly offer orange, yellow, and even green hues. On top of that, garnet is well-known for its healing and metaphysical capabilities. So if you’re on the fence about a gemstone for your jewelry or talisman, garnet is an option you can’t ignore.

The Meaning and History of Garnet

Garnet’s name is consonant with the juicy pomegranate. It is believed that the word garnet comes from the Latin ‘granatus’ or ‘granum’, which mean pomegranate seed and simply seed respectively. The mineral received its modern name in 1270 when the German alchemist Albert Magnus noted the similarity between red silicate crystals and the grains of the fruit. History also preserved the more ancient names of the mineral. In Greece, it was called ‘anthrax’, which means amber, and Ancient Romans dubbed it carbuncle.
Like any mineral known since antiquity, garnet has many stories to tell. The oldest found garnet jewelry dates back to 1000 BC. Biblical legends indicate that garnet was the only source of light on Noah's Ark. Hence, its alternative name is the stone of travelers. The fables of Ancient Greece tell about the imprisonment of Persephone by the king of the underworld, Hades. Hades tricked her into eating pomegranate seeds to keep her in his kingdom. However, Persephone, the Goddess of Sunshine, could not be far from the sun, so she made a deal with Hades to have half of her time on earth and the other half next to Hades. Thus, the seasons were born.
Garnet became widespread in Europe during the Crusades. In Persia, the mineral was a symbol of power. Every Persian ruler had a garnet talisman. The red gem brought from the Middle East became an adornment of shields as well as an emblem of honor, courage, and strength. Besides that, garnet became a common embellishment in churches. It is incorporated into the frames of icons, interiors, books, and temple utensils.

Malaya garnet loose stone

Garnet Metaphysicochemical Properties

Garnet is not just a single stone but a whole group of minerals. Garnet belongs to the class of silicates, and all members of this class feature a crystalline structure with square facets. The chemical formula of various members of the garnet family is also diverse. The only thing that all of them have in common is silicate SiO4, and additional components differ depending on the specific type of mineral - magnesium, iron, manganese, calcium, aluminum, or chromium.
Garnet is known for its striking red color but red is just one of its color options. In fact, garnet can carry any color except blue. The stone’s hardness is also dissimilar but normally, it is between 6.5 and 7.5 on the Mohs scale. Garnet gems are available as transparent, translucent, and completely opaque but all of them offer a glassy luster.
Garnet stones are pyroelectric. When you rub it against a cloth, it accumulates static electricity and is able to draw small and light objects such as a piece of paper or fluff.

Garnet beads for jewelry

Garnet Types

In a simplified form, the chemical formula of garnet is R2 + 3R3 + 2 [SiO4] 3. In a specific mineral, R2 is magnesium, iron, manganese, or calcium, while R3 is aluminum, iron, or chromium. The type and amount of these metals define a specific variety of garnet.

Pyrope garnet is a type of garnet, which colors range from blood-red to maroon-brown. Its name comes from the Greek ‘pyropos’ meaning ‘fiery.

Pyrope garnet for necklace

Almandine garnet is perhaps the most popular variety of garnet. It offers a juicy cherry-red color, sometimes with a purple tint. For its deep noble color, almandine is often compared to rubies.

Almandine garnet for jewelry

Rhodolite garnet is a rare but extremely beautiful variety of garnet featuring a range of colors from dark pink to purple. When being exposed to sunlight, it shimmers with lilac and raspberry hues.

Rhodolite garnet

Andradite garnet is a fairly common type of sparkling garnet. It has the widest variety of colors: maroon, yellow, orange, and even green. In fact, andradite is a large subgroup of garnets, which includes highly valued demantoids, melanites, and topazolites.

Andradite garnet for ring

Spessartine garnet is a fairly rare garnet. Its signature colors are yellow, orange, pink, and brown. More often than not, these stones feature turbidity or foreign inclusions.

Spessartine garnet

Grossular garnet is a pale green or yellow-green garnet. The stone’s name derives from the Latin ‘grossularia’ meaning gooseberry. This type of garnet has a few varieties including tsavorite and hessonite.

Grossular garnet for jewelry making supplies

Garnet Healing Properties

Red garnet is considered to be an effective remedy to combat various pathologies of the circulatory system. It is able to increase the level of hemoglobin, reinforce vascular walls, normalize blood circulation, maintain the heart muscle in good shape, and reduce the intensity of bleeding. Along with that, garnet is useful in the treatment of inflammatory diseases since it lowers the temperature and alleviates pain. Garnet pendants and necklaces are a beautiful remedy against respiratory and thyroid gland disorders. Besides that, the red mineral is capable of reducing allergic symptoms including edema, rashes, and shortness of breath.
It is believed that garnet in a silver setting lend themselves to the strengthening of the immune system and reducing the susceptibility to infectious diseases. Gemstones incorporated into a ring and worn on the middle finger are said to weaken migraine.
Colorless garnets are recommended to treat pathologies of the digestive tract. Green garnets have a calming effect on the central nervous system. Yellow, orange, and brown garnets are a solution to treat dermatological issues such as wounds, burns, edema, allergic rash, and tumors.

Hessonite garnet cabochons for ring

Garnet for sale

Garnet Magical Properties

Besides healing powers, people noticed a variety of metaphysical properties in garnets. Red-violet almandine is an excellent choice for those who have to make a decision and would really need a boost of confidence. The vibrant red color would come in handy for individuals who want to turn their life into a holiday.
Red pyrope should bring happiness to energetic and passionate persons as well as help keep them active. On the other hand, it may harm inert and calm individuals because it prefers dynamic energy.
It is believed that green garnets are family talismans and are able to enhance a family bond and improve communication. Yellow or orange garnets are compatible with the energy of every person out there. They are considered to be stones of reconciliation and justice and they help protect the weak.

Start garnet bracelets for sale

Garnet beads for sale

Garnet for sale by KenKenGems

Look no further than KenKenGems if you’re in the market for beautiful garnets. We deliver a wide variety of garnets for sale in strands, half-strands, and sets. Large mesmerizing individual pieces are available as well to become your talisman or a focal point of your jewelry. Our gemstones offer all possible varieties of color – statement red, regal purple, sun-filled orange, noble green, and others. Feel free to browse through our garnet inventory and take advantage of beautiful cuts and budget-friendly prices.

Rhodolite garnet gemstones for jewelry making

Wide variety of our Garnet collection