Garnet crystals are also known as pomegranate seeds. Garnet is another name for a dark red color. This derivation of meaning has Latin roots. King of Saxony had a garnet that was 465 carats. This is one of the most valuable and largest known Garnets in human history. Reddish shades of garnet are the usual color shades but impurities like manganese, iron, magnesium, etc. often bring yellow, pink, violet, green, and black shades to the crystal. This vitreous crystal appears red and colorful to the eye but its streak is milky white. Garnet is found in all three igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. It is used in geothermobarometry to interpret the origin of many metamorphic and igneous rocks. Garnet deposits are spread throughout the world. USA, Australia, India, Africa, and Russia have the largest reserves of Garnet. Grape Garnet, Carbuncle, and Arizona Ruby are the other names used for garnet.
This stone is a nesosilicate with isometric crystal system. X3Y2(SiO4)3 is the general formula for Garnets. X represents divalent cations and Y signifies trivalent cations. Garnets have many natural varieties but out of them, six are commonly encountered. These are divided into two groups. When aluminum is at’ Y’ site, the following are three variations; Pyrope (Mg3Al3Si3O12), Almandine (Fe3Al2Si3O12), and Spessartine (Mn3Al2Si3O12). When calcium is present at ‘X’ site, following are other three varieties Andradite (Ca3Fe2Si3O12), Grossular (Ca3Al2Si3O12), and Uvarovite (Ca3Cr2Si3O12). Dodecahedron and Trapezohedron are common crystal habits. Crystals have indistinct cleavage pattern with conchoidal or uneven fractures. Mohs scale of hardness suggests the hardness at 6.5 to 7.5 and specific gravity is 3.1 to 4.3. An absence of birefringence and pleochroism makes it isotropic under crossed polarized light. Garnets have refractive indices ranging from 1.72 to 1.95.
Garnet is used an abrasive chiefly as a steel cutter. It is also used to make rings, necklaces, boxes, vases and several other things. Garnet represents the heart chakra and base chakra. Garnet is believed to balance a human body like no other stone. It improves body metabolism and purifies the blood and lungs. There is a belief that Garnet regenerates DNA too. Garnet has been in use as a war stone or as a warrior’s stone since the Middle Ages. It is also considered as one of the dozen stones of the breastplate of a chief priest.
Many people across the world believe that wearing a garnet results to a healthier life. Garnet is used by many as a remedy for enhancing sexuality, bringing more trust and understanding in relationships. Many individuals have an opinion that garnet has a very strong effect on law suits and other legal matters. These individuals believe that they won cases in courts because of this stone’s help. It is said that possession of garnet brings healthy life, protection, and balance in life.