Garnet is a generic name for a family of stones that come in almost every colour except blue. There are up to 15 different kinds of garnet, the main ones being pyrope (red), spessarite (orange), grossularite (green), andradite (yellow- brown), uvarite (emerald green) and the most common one, used in our jewellery, almandine (red with a violet tint).
Deposits are found in Brazil, India, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Argentina.
The name Almandine derives from the town of Alasanda in Turkey,where the stone has been cut and polished since antiquity. The name garnet derives from the Latin for grain and its similarity to the red kernels of the pomegranate fruit. Garnets have been known to man for thousands of years. Noah, it was said, used a garnet lantern to help him steer his ark through the dark night. Garnets are also found in jewellery from early Egyptian, Greek and Roman times. Many an early explorer and traveller liked to carry a garnet with him as it was popular as a talisman and protective stone and was again, believed to both light up the night and protect the bearer from evil and disaster. Today, it is known that the garnets proverbial luminosity comes from its high refractive index. Garnet is the birthstone for January.