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Garnet Glamour: The Rich History and Dazzling Beauty of Nature's Fiery Gem

Garnet Glamour: The Rich History and Dazzling Beauty of Nature's Fiery Gem

Garnet is a precious gemstone that comes in various colours and shapes. As we explore its history, we begin to understand the allure of this gemstone.

Garnet, a popular gemstone most commonly known for its vibrant red colour, has left its significant footprint all across history and different cultures. 

Garnet Overview

The term "garnet" finds its roots in the Latin word "granatum," which translates to "seed" or "grain." This nomenclature reflects the gemstone's visual similarity to the red seeds of a pomegranate. Garnets boast a broad spectrum of colours, with red being the most traditional and renowned. However, they can also be found in hues ranging from green and yellow to orange and even rare blues.

Garnet etymology pomegranate

Garnet Birthstone

Garnet is the birthstone for the month of January. Due to the origin of its name, garnet is directly associated with themes of rebirth and fertility that derived from the rich red fruit of pomegranate. As January signifies the birth of a new year, garnet was chosen to represent the opening month. 

Garnet Hardness

Garnet is 6.5- 7.5 on the MOHS scale. Diamonds have a hardness of 10 and so garnets are significantly softer. However, garnets are a popular gemstone since its composition resists scratches and chipping more efficiently than other softer gemstones. 

Garnet hardness 

Garnet History

The rich history of garnets stretches back thousands of years, and they have adorned jewellery and cultural artifacts across diverse civilizations. In Greek mythology, the eternal union between Persephone and Hades was said to
be ignited by the gift of a pomegranate, a seed-filled fruit bearing a deep burgundy
colour. The story of Persephone and Hades has fostered an association between the fruit’s crimson seeds and the concept of eternal love. Though the garnet stone is found in a variety of cool- and warm-toned hues, its most iconic shade is deep red. Similar in colour to the pomegranate, the garnet stone possesses an analogous
meaning: the gemstone’s name also connects it to the story of Persephone. 

The gemstone has been around since the Bronze Age. Garnets played a significant role in jewellery during the Georgian and Victorian eras, embodying both intricate craftsmanship and sentimental symbolism. In the Georgian period, garnets were often set in elaborate designs with rose-cut stones, showcasing detailed workmanship. During the Victorian era, garnets gained popularity for their association with love and passion, making them sought-after for romantic jewellery, including engagement rings. Bohemian garnets, particularly from the Czech region, became prominent during this time, known for their intense red colour and meticulous settings.

Garnet Origins

Barton Garnet Mines are known as the epitome of excellence in garnet mining. They are renowned for their superior quality, abundance, and large size in garnet gemstones. However, garnets are currently sourced from numerous locations globally, including Africa, India, and Russia.

Geographically, garnets are found in diverse locations, each contributing unique characteristics to the gemstone. In Africa, garnets are mined in countries like Mozambique, Tanzania, and Madagascar. These garnets often display a range of colours, including vivid reds and oranges. India has a long history of garnet mining, with the state of Rajasthan being a notable source. Indian garnets are known for their deep red and brownish-red hues. Russia, specifically the Ural Mountains, has also been a significant producer of garnets, including the valuable demantoid variety known for its intense green colour. In the United States, garnets can be found in various states, such as Arizona, California, and New York, with a diversity of colours and varieties.

Garnet Types

Garnet has two notable groups: Aluminum Silicate and Calcium Silicate. Some notable compositions that fall under Aluminum are Almandine, Pyrope, and Rhodolite while Hessonite, Tsavorite, and Demantoid are considered Calcium.

One of the most prominent aspects of garnet is its colour. While red garnets are the most familiar, the gemstone's palette is incredibly diverse.


Almandine, known for its deep red to violet hues, is often found in metamorphic rocks and it is usually reasonably priced compared to other gemstones and other garnets. The best quality almandine are usually mined in India, Brazil and Sri Lanka. 

Garnet almandine


Pyrope, a variety with a pure red or slightly purplish-red colour, is frequently associated with high-quality garnets. The most important sources are United States, South Africa and Czech Republic. However, it can also be found in Russia and Australia. 

Garnet pyrope



Similarly, Rhodolite is a purplish red to reddish purple since its composition has a blend between almandine and pyrope which has made it a very popular jewellery gemstone. Its main mining sources are Brazil, India, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.We love it because of its vibrant pink colour and we have used it in our latest collection, the Aurora Collection. 

Rhodolite Aurora Cocktail Ring

Rhodolite and Black Enamel Cocktail Ring, Gold Vermeil £390, 9ct Yellow Gold £300, 14ct Yellow Gold £950, Aurora Collection


Hessonite has a brown-orange complexion with lower hardness and lower density than most other garnet species varieties. It is most commonly found in Canada, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania. It is considered a semi-precious gemstone since it's quite common and inexpensive compared to other types of garnet gemstones. 


Tsavorite is known as the rarest garnet found until this day. They possess an alluring green hue that captivates many. They was first discovered in Tanzania but has since been found in Madagascar as well. Tsavorites are often highly priced due to its rarity and beautiful complexion. 

Tsavorite garnet


Demantoid, renowned as one of the rarest garnets, shares its exclusivity with Tsavorites as a captivating green gemstone. It has been found in Russia, Namibia and Afghanistan even though it's a very exclusive gem. 

Garnet demantoid

Blue Garnets

Discovering the extraordinary world of garnets reveals blue garnets as exceptionally scarce. Their scarcity has propelled them to the pinnacle of garnet valuations, with the most expensive one ever sold fetching an astounding $6.8 million for a mere 4.2 carats. Originating from Madagascar in 1990, these mesmerizing blue gems are a rarity in the United States, making each sighting a cherished event.

Blue garnet

Garnet Meaning

Throughout the ages, garnets have been associated with different symbolic meanings. In medieval times, they were believed to cure depression, protect against nightmares, and ward off evil spirits. In Christian tradition, garnets were thought to symbolize Christ's sacrifice, with their red colour representing the blood shed on the cross. In Hindu mythology, garnets were associated with the goddess Kali and were believed to bring victory in battle. Warriors often wore garnet talismans, believing the gemstone could bring them good fortune and shield them from harm. In ancient Egypt, garnets were commonly used in jewellery, and pharaohs were buried with these precious stones to ensure a prosperous afterlife.

Famous Garnets

Among the notable garnet stones and jewellery are the Swedish Royal Family's Demantoid Tiara and the late actress Elizabeth Taylor's Demantoid Garnet.

Celebrities wearing Garnet Jewellery

Olivia Wilde was spotted at the 2016 Golden Globes with an intricately designed choker that featured Imperial silver coins underneath the deep red garnet stones, complemented by sparkling diamonds, creating a bold and sophisticated look. Wilde's choice of garnet jewelry not only added a pop of colour to her ensemble but also reflected the timeless allure of this gemstone on one of the most prestigious stages in the entertainment industry. 

Recently, Taylor Swift was spotted with a garnet ring that combined timeless grace with contemporary flair, as it showcased a striking garnet stone within a delicate gold setting. 

Garnet Jewellery in the Press with Augustine Jewels

Augustine Jewels was recently profiled in luxury magazine Country Life for our beautiful filigree earrings with garnet. 

Gold filigree garnet earrings

Gold Filigree Earrings in Citrine and Garnet, Yellow Gold plated £250, 9ct Yellow Gold £790, Andalusian Collection

Our Mercia collection was also recently profiled in the Winter Edition of Sphere Magazine

Gold garnet bowls

Gold Plated Garnet Bowl Set, £1,180, Mercia Collection

Garnet Jewellery at Augustine Jewels

Here at Augustine Jewels, we feature many iterations of garnet in our diverse collections. Most notably, garnet is one of the most featured and starring gemstones in our Andalusian collection. Taking inspiration from the Spanish region, our collection makes beautiful pieces that encapsulate the charm of the area. 

Gold filigree garnet ring

Gold Filigree Ring, £190, Andalusia Collection

Octagon garnet earrings

Octagon Gold Drop Earrings, £790, Andalusia Collection

 Diamond and Garnet Birthstone earrings

Diamond and White Gold January Birthstone Halo Earrings, £650, Birthstone Collection


Bespoke at Augustine Jewels

Collaborating with esteemed diamond and coloured stone suppliers in the vibrant markets of London, New York, and across the globe, our personalized jewelry service ensures that you are intricately involved in every stage of the selection process. Tailored to your preferences, we guarantee the precise size and quality of stones, providing a bespoke experience that meets your unique desires. Bespoke Garnet 3-Band ring

Garnet 3-Band Ring, Bespoke Collection

In conclusion, garnets are a beautiful gemstone that will keep on being used due to its historical significance and timeless allure.  These gems, with deep ancient history, seamlessly weave themselves into contemporary fashion, harmonizing tradition with modernity. Augustine Jewels garnets are vibrant centerpieces for any collection, showcasing the beauty and history of these precious gems. Embrace the allure of garnets, and let them add a touch of timeless glamour to your personal style. Let's explore five noteworthy aspects that contribute to a deeper understanding of garnets. 

Top 5 facts about Garnet Gemstones

  1. Historical Significance: Garnets have a long history of being used in jewelry and decorative arts. They were popular in ancient civilizations, with examples found in Egyptian jewelry and Roman signet rings. Additionally, garnets were often used as symbols of protection and guidance in medieval times.

  2. Geographical Diversity: Garnets are found in various locations around the world. Notably, the Czech Republic, India, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, and the United States are among the countries known for producing high-quality garnets. Each geographical source contributes unique characteristics to the gemstones.

  3. Rich Colour Spectrum: While commonly associated with deep red hues, garnets actually come in a variety of colours, including green, orange, yellow, brown, and even rare blue. The colour variation is due to different chemical compositions within the garnet family.

  4. January Birthstone: Garnet holds the distinction of being the birthstone for the month of January. Many individuals born in this month celebrate their birthdays with garnet jewelry, believed to bring good fortune, protection, and positive energy throughout the year.

  5. Ancient Healing Beliefs: In ancient times, garnets were believed to have healing properties, particularly related to blood-related disorders and circulation. They were thought to promote vitality, improve energy flow, and cleanse the bloodstream, contributing to overall well-being.

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