In the ancient sources, we may meet the term “Syrian Garnet” that applied to all the Garnets that came from India, Ceylon, and Pegu. However, in fact, this nickname is due to the name of the capital of Pegu that called Syrian. So, please, take in mind that these gems have no attitude to Syria.
Origin of the name
The term “Almandine” (the most common variety of Garnet) we know thanks to Pliny the Elder. He mentioned this gem in his famous treatise. The ancient used this tone to imitate Ruby. That’s why Pliny separates these gemstones.
Indeed, the name “Garnet” know now derived from Latin “granatus.” Although its real name “Adems.” If to translate this word from the ancient Jewish, we will get “Rubinos” with the root “Ruby.” Pliny told us that many of faced and polished Garnets of his times were in fact Rubies.
As we know, the crystals of the garnet are similar to the seeds of the pomegranate fruit, whence the base “Grain,” which became a root of the word “Garnet.”
Varieties of Garnet
The Garnet is famous for its varieties. This gem doesn’t have such a great history as Diamond or Ruby. But jewelers frequently use this semi precious stone to imitate these gems.
There are six major types of the Garnet, known to mineralogy and distinguished by their colors, such as:
The Almandine, mentioned by Pliny as a stone much often used to imitate a Ruby came to us from Alabanda, the region where this gem was found, cut & polished for the first time. This variety also called “Carbuncle.”
The Pyrope is the next variety of the Garnet. Sometimes, you can meet a name “Bohemian Garnet,” because of its origin from Bohemia, Saxony (now Germany). The pyrope has a deep-red color. The miners found it inside an alluvial soil.
Grossular Essonite (Hessonite)
Essonite is the next variety of the Garnet on our list. Its name was the cinnamon-stone two centuries ago. But its modern name Grossular is more familiar today. Grossular has a reddish-yellow tint, similar to the color of cinnamon, from whence its old name. This gem is mined principally in Sri Lanka.
But you ought to be careful! Commonly known Grossular deposits in Serbia. Therefore it is a less expensive variety of the Garnet, than true Essonite from Sri Lanka.
Spessartine is a brown range of the Garnet. This gemstone derived its name of Spessart, a region of Germany, where people found it first. But there are also unique specimens of Spessartine from Finland and Sweden.
Andradite is a variety of Garnet which is widespread in jewelry. This gemstone possesses different shades, from light green to brown and from brownish-red to black. It obtained its name in honor of Brazilian mineralogist José Bonifácio de Andrade e Silva.
The last variety of Garnet on our list is an Uvarovite, the gem found in Serbia, which derived its name after Uvarow — who was a President of the Imperial Academy of St. Petersburg. This gemstone is indeed a lime-chrome Garnet of a bright-green color. The mines of Uvarovite were found first in the chain of the Ural Mountains.
Garnet is the Birthstone for January, furthermore.