Under the name garnet we only refer to the red to pink varieties like almandine, pyrope and rhodolite.
Garnet was known thousands of years before our era and is mentioned in early biblical writings, where it is called «carbunculus» meaning «little spark ».It should be considered, though, that in Pliny’s time all glowing red gems were referred to by this name.
The name garnet comes from the Latin «granatus» meaning «seed like». Garnet was considered to symbolize faith, constancy and truth.
Garnet was traded heavily in Carthage (Tunisia) during the beginning of the Roman times.
Garnet was thought to have strong curative powers. In powder, it was used as poultice to relieve fever.
As an amulet, garnet was favored by travelers, for it was said to protect and preserve health and honor, cure the wearer of all diseases, and guard him from all perils during the course of a journey.
Garnets were also used in ancient Asia and the American Southwest as bullets because the stone was said to cause wounds more dangerous than those caused by bullets.
Garnet is the birthstone for January.