Garnet History

Garnet History

Introduction to Garnets

Garnets are diverse and alluring gemstones. They're most often red but also come in a variety of other bright colors ranging from yellow to vibrant green. You can find garnets in shades of purple, blue and orange as well. This popular gemstone can even change color when exposed to different lighting.

Garnet is January's birthstone, so it only gets more popular each year as people get more interested in gemstones and the benefits they provide. Garnet specifically is known to have the ability to provide wellness, wealth, and overall happiness to the wearer.

The History of Garnets

Garnets have a rich history that dates back to 3100 BCE. Their presence has been located in ancient Egyptian ruins in the form of red garnet necklaces. Throughout history, the wealthy and famous have favored this gemstone. Garnet was popular among ancient Greeks and Romans as well. The ancient Romans carved garnets and used them as a stamp on wax seals for documents of high importance.

During the years 300 to 900 BCE, garnet was used as a decoration in metal objects called cloisonnés. Whoever was in power valued them deeply. Thousands of artefacts with garnets have been discovered. Garnets were used in not only jewelry but also weapons such as bullets and religious artefacts.

Garnet deposits were popular in the Czech Republic from the 14th century to the 19th century. The gem-cutting industry did extremely well there during those years.

Garnet Legends

Garnets have been mentioned in many legends throughout the years. In one version of Noah's Ark, the ark itself was lit by a ginormous red garnet.

In the middle ages, garnets were believed to be a cure for depression.

In the late 1800s, the Hunzas in Northern Pakistan used bullets made of garnet instead of lead while fighting the British. They believed that garnets were a more powerful bullet due to their rich red color, similar to blood.

The Discovery of Garnet

Garnets can be found in several countries around the world. Since there are different species of garnet, the discovery of them is in more than one country. For example, Bohemia was the main source of the popular red pyrope garnets. Russia is where the deep green garnets, known as demantoid garnets were first discovered.

Now, the continent of Africa is where the majority of the worlds garnet comes from. Namibia, Tanzania, Kenya and Madagascar all produce this gemstone. Garnet is also found in the countries Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Brazil, India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

Garnets have even been discovered in America. Southern California produced this beautiful gemstone in their Little Three mining area.

Natural Garnets vs. Lab-Created Garnets

Similar to most gemstones, garnet has a natural version and a lab-created version. There are a few ways to recognize the difference. One way is the price. If you notice an unreasonably low price on the garnet, it's most likely a lab-created one. Natural garnets will always come at a higher price point.

The final way to know if a garnet is natural or lab-created is to get it reviewed by a specialist laboratory. If the garnet is natural, you will be provided with a certificate of authenticity for that gemstone.

Significance Throughout History

Garnet has been known as a powerful gemstone throughout history. The word garnet itself comes from the Latin word “granatus”, which means pomegranate. It was given this name due to the main red color that garnets usually come in.

Whether it was in ancient Egypt or ancient Rome, garnets have been traced back for centuries being used as jewelry and more. In medieval times, garnet was believed to be a good remedy for inflammatory diseases. It was also said to soothe angry hearts, likely due to its popular red color.

What Garnet Means Today

Today, garnet is the birthstone of January. Indian astrology believes that garnet can help to eliminate any negative feelings that the wearer possesses. This can include depression, sadness, and guilt. Garnet also has the ability to provide the wearer with more self-confidence and peacefulness. This gemstone offers mental clarity and can boost the wearers' creativity.


Which is the best garnet color?

The most popular colors of garnet are those with vibrant red and purple hues.

What does garnet symbolize?

Garnet is often associated with the heart and blood, along with life force due to its red color. This gemstone symbolizes love and friendship.

Is garnet durable?

Garnet is a fairly durable gemstone. They range from 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness. It’s best to still treat this gemstone with care, and avoid any harsh blows to the stone.

Are garnet engagement rings popular?

Yes, garnet engagement rings are a very popular choice for gemstone engagement rings. This is due to how garnets symbolize love. They’re also durable enough to be used in engagement rings.

Is garnet a birthstone?

Yes, garnet is the birthstone of January.
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