Hardness (Mohs scale): 6.5 - 7.5||
Specific Gravity: 3.56 - 4.32
Crystal System: Cubic||
Color: Dark Red to Red-Brown||
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.
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.
Powers: Healing, Protection, Strength
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