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A January birthstone and the stone for the second and sixth wedding anniversary, the Garnet is associated with both the base and heart chakra. Red Garnet is believed to promote love and open-heartedness, restore energy and bring about inner peace.
The name “Garnet” is most likely derived from the Latin word “granatus”, from “granum” (grain, seed). Known commonly as a deep red gemstone, it also comes in orangey-brown and wine red varieties. Revered throughout history – the ancient Egyptians used them in their jewellery, the Roman and Greek empires used them as a signet stamp, and they were also highly popular during the Victorian times. To this day, the Garnet remains an attractive and valuable gemstone, adored for its brilliant red hue and, by some people, for its metaphysical properties.
One will have noticed it appear in several ancient stories and legends, and even mentioned in some religious texts. According to the Talmud, it was the Garnet that provided the only source of light on Noah’s ark. In Islam, it is said that the sixth heaven, where the prophet Moses (Musa) can be found, is made of Garnets and rubies.
Interestingly, Garnets are believed to possess protective and destructive powers. The Crusaders set them into their body armour, believing that the stones would protect them and lead them to safety. Some Asian tribes, however, launched them from their slingbows and later added them to bullets, believing that the blood-coloured stone would inflict a more deadly wound. In 1892, the Hanza people used such bullets against the British troops during their rebellion on the Kashmir front.
These days, the Garnet is not only used ornamentally in jewellery, but it is also used for metaphysical protection, as it is a powerful energizing and regenerating stone. A stone of commitment, that encourages be it personal or professional.