the Roman, Greek and Egyptian civilizations. Red garnets were thought to inspire sincerity in its wearer and cure inflammatory diseases, anger and stress. Many ancient travelers used to carry this gemstone believing it would protect them against all perils.
The garnet family is one of the most exciting families of the gem world. They are moderately hard (7 to 7.5 on Moh’s scale), brilliant, durable and they come in wide array of colors. These stones have a high refractive index which accounts for their excellent brilliance. All these distinctive characteristics make garnet a much preferred stone by modern jewelers.
The six main varieties of this stone are –
Pyrope – Pyrope is the one of the most famous, red variety of these stones. These are very often found without inclusions.
Almadine – It is the most common gem from garnet family of stone. It is usually found with black and opaque hue, and is seldom seen with lighter colored tones.
Spessartine – Natural spessartine occurs with an orange hue, but owing to iron impurities which are very often found in its structure, these gems acquire red or brownish tones.
Grossular – The member of the garnet family derives its name from Latin Grossularia which is attributed to the fact that these crystals resemble gooseberries. They are the most varied form of garnet. Pure grossulars are colorless but given the impurities in their crystal structure, they also occur with yellow, pink, green hue.
Andradite – The green variety of these, also called Demantoid is one of the most prized of the garnets. Their close resemblance to emerald and the brilliance (compared to a diamond) are their distinctive characteristics.
Urvolite – These are one of the rarest from the garnet family. The crystals of urvolite are too small to facet and hence are hardly used in jewelry.
Garnets are also the zodiac stones for the constellation ‘Aquarius’ and anniversary stones for the second year of marriage. These gems are symbolic of faith and loyalty and are believed to bring true friendship to its wearer.