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Garnets are the birthstone of January and the stone of those born under the sign of Aquarius, so, if you are working on a project for a birthday this month, especially later in the month, garnet beads should be added as either a filler bead or a focus bead.
Garnets are also the stone that celebrates the second year of marriage. Garnet beads are often a beautiful dark red color that will add pizazz to any project. There are also a wide range of colors in the garnet family if the dark red color doesn’t work with your project.
Garnets are a group of minerals made from silicate material. While all garnets are similar in their physical properties, their composition may differ with a variety of chemicals involved. The species of garnets are pyrope, almandine, spessartine, grossular, uvarovite, and andradite. Almandine is also known as carbuncle.
The name garnet comes from the Middle English word “gernet” which meant “dark red.” It is also said to have evolved from the Latin word “garanatus” meaning seed-like, as the smaller garnets reminded them of pomegranate seeds. The deep red garnet is almandine garnet. The fiery red garnet is pyrope garnet. Spessartine garnets are one of the rarest varieties and are known as the Garnet of the Sun.
Garnets have been used as talismans since ancient times for their curative powers and protective energy. Garnets are thought to keep the wearer safe during travel, making them an excellent bead to use in a project for your frequent fliers or those on the road all day.
Garnet also utilizes creative energy, making it a good bead for the writers and artists in your life, or just someone who would like more creativity in their life.
All garnets honor Sekhmet, who is the Egyptian Goddess of War. The two most common kinds have slightly different meanings:
Almandine Garnet – A talisman of protection and unyielding strength, almandine garnet is tied to the earth. It increases willpower and resistance to all negativity. It is a stone of physical love and relationships, as well as psychic protection. It is associated with the first chakra.
Pyrope Garnet – Described as “living fire,” pyrope garnet ranges from fiery red to deep red, including shades of scarlet, violet, and indigo. It is a stone of inspiration, giving vitality and charisma to the wearer, as well as assisting one in accepting one’s gifts and abilities. It unifies the creative forces of the self associated with the base and crown chakra.
Garnets were once worn by Celtic and Anglo-Saxon peoples as inlaid stones in their jewelry. It also served as a talisman by both Christians and Muslims during the Crusades. The Merovingians brought garnets down the Silk Road and combined them with amber to make jewels.
Some of the Asiatic tribes used garnets as bullets for their sling bows, as they pierced through enemies quickly. The Asiatic tribes later used them as bullets for firearms during hostilities with the British. Red garnets were the most commonly used gemstone in Late Antique Rome.
Garnet beads make a great addition to any necklace, bracelet, or other piece of jewelry. They can even be sewn into blankets or other projects to aid the user.
Garnets are also the state mineral of Connecticut, the gemstone of New York, and star garnet is the gemstone of Idaho.
The uses of garnet beads are endless. Looking for a way to use garnets in a project? Check out this garnet beaded flower vine necklace. Need more ideas? Garnets have historically been used in all sorts of jewelry, from rings to body jewelry.