Pyrope Garnet
Greek: pyropos and Latin: malum granatum
January's Birthstone


Image created by M. Driessen, photo taken from: Cipriani and Borelli (1986).

Geologic Properties
Chemistry: Mg3Al2Si3O12 Hardness (Mohs scale): 6.5 - 7.5
Specific Gravity: 3.56 - 4.32 Crystal System: Cubic
Streak: Colorless Color: Dark Red to Red-Brown
Luster: Vitreous Cleavage: Distinct cleavage in six directions, but usually none.
Habit: Commonly dodecahedrons or trapazohedrons; possibly granular or layered. Environment of Origin: Pyrope garnet is found in igneous environments and is found with olivine and hypersthene in peridotite of plutonic rocks.

Lore and Magik

Garnet is believed to be a protective stone. In the 1200's, it was worn in amulets to repel insects. Five centuries ago was used to guard against night phantoms and demons, which might relieved insomnia. Today, it is believed to repel thieves and muggers due to the increased aura of positive energy it projects around the wearer. It is also believed to enhance bodily strength, vigor and endurance, and is used in rituals to draw more energy for spells. Garnet is believed to help guard against skin disease and inflammations. It may be exchanged between parting friends to ensure that they would meet again.

According to the Talmud, Noah's ark was illuminated by a brilliant garnet. The ancient Greeks also attributed light giving properties to this glowing gem, which they called the "lamp stone," believing that it enabled its wearer to see in the dark. Cabochon garnets are known as carbuncles, which means "glowing coal." One superstition states that dragons' eyes were made of carbuncles.

Several curative properties were ascribed to the garnet. Garnets have been employed to cure "fluxions" of the eyes (tie to forehead with linen), dissolve tartar in the body, control incontinence, and ward off the plague. Along with other red and yellow gems, garnet is thought to stop bleeding and cure blood ailments. It is believed to be an effective heart stimulant that might cause apoplexy if used to an extreme. This belief in the stone's potency is perhaps the reason that certain Asiatic tribes used garnet bullets, some 400 years ago, because the blood-red stones would inflict a far more grievous wound on their enemies than the common lead bullet*.

Garnet, which comes in a variety of hues - from deep red through orange, yellow, brown, and even green - should be set in gold for maximum benefit. It is a traditional symbol of constancy. It is said to assure its wearer riches, good health, and joy.

Magikal Statistics
Energy: Projective Planet: Mars
Element: Fire Powers: Healing, Protection, Strength

Back    Bibliography    Next