Garnet is known for its deep, rich, red colour, which gives it a plump appearance, similar to a juicy pomegranate seed, which is where its name originates from. The word Garnet came from the Latin ‘garanatus’ meaning ‘seedlike’, in reference to pomegranate. In fact, Garnets come in many colours such as yellow, green and purple, however, the stone will always be associated with its dark red form. Bohemia, now part of Czechoslovakia, was once a great source of garnet. Many Bohemian castles and churches had incredible interiors decorated with garnet. The red stone was also highly popular in Europe in the 18th and 19th century.
Garnets have been a popular stone throughout history and were used in jewellery as far back as 3000BC. Notable figures to have used Garnet include the King of Saxony who is said to have had a garnet of over 465 carats, and Plato who had his portrait engraved on a garnet. There are many ancient traditions and legends linked to the stone. In medieval times, Garnets were thought to cure depression and protect against bad dreams. Rather bizarrely, they have also been thought to prevent children from drowning, particularly among Ancient Greeks. Perhaps this has something to do with the legend that Noah used a glowing garnet to illuminate his dark ark, which floated soundly across the rocky waters.
Throughout history, Garnets have been given as a gift of love, and they remain as such today. The birthstone of January, Garnets are said to bring serenity and passion to its wearer. Associated with the root chakra, Garnet is a stone of physical love, grounding and psychic protection.