Garnet is a silicate mineral that is found all over the world and has been used an abrasive and a gemstone all the way back to the Bronze Age. It can come in virtually any color, with blue being the rarest and dark red typically being the first to come to mind when we hear the word “garnet.” It exhibits a rhombic dodecahedron or cubic crystal habit, an isometric/cubic rhombic dodecahedron or icositetrahedron crystal system, a Moh’s scale hardness of 6.5-7.5, a specific gravity of 3.1-4.3, and a vitreous to resinous luster. Garnets also exhibit magnetic attraction, with the strength of this ability being dependent upon the species and variety of the specimen in question. In the Late Antique Roman world, the red colored garnet was the type most frequently used as a gemstone. Today, gemstone varieties of garnet include red, orange, yellow and green types. Red is still the most well-known, and may be either the almandine or pyrope variety. It is easily affordable and faceted into almost any kind of jewelry.
Wearing red garnet or keeping it with you is believed to result in a variety of metaphysical benefits. In the case of almandine, you may experience feelings of abundance, safety and security and receive assistance with bereavement and support in the decision to take time for yourself. In the company of almandine, widows have been known to regain their spirit, get back up on their feet, and find new spouses. With almandine as a companion, you may feel love on a deep level and notice an integration of truth with self and an opening of the higher mind, initiating compassion and charity. Almandine is also a stone of psychic protection. Pyrope, or the “fiery garnet,” is claimed to bring us up from our all-time low in life, restoring our will to live. It may promote courage, composure and endurance and dissipate feelings and displays of awkwardness. It is also believed to stimulate gentleness and warmth and open up the heart divine love as well as love from other people. Pyrope is frequently used to improve life quality and in crisis management, where it is said to activate, strengthen and fortify the survival instinct, bringing hope and courage into otherwise seemingly hopeless situations. In a sense, crisis becomes challenge.
On a physical level, red garnet may enhance stamina and strength, facilitate iron absorption, support the health of the eyes, treat disorders and disease of the pancreas and liver, provide a boost to the immune system, stimulate the metabolism and blood circulation and, perhaps not surprisingly, aid in a variety of blood related issues. It may also speed up recuperation following a bodily injury, ease pain, aid bladder and elimination problems, soothe the digestive tract, protect the skin, maintain the health of the testes and ovaries, increase libido and fertility in both sexes, and treat arthritis and gallstones.