Colors: red, green, pale to bright yellow, orange and earth shades
Moh's hardness: 7 - 7.5
Garnets are loved because of their natural beauty, wide variety of colors and their magnificent brilliance. The name garnet is Latin, and derives from the gems' similarity to the red blossoms of the pomegranate tree. A warm, deep red is the most frequently occurring color for garnets, but this group of over ten gemstones with similar chemical structure includes a spectrum of many bright and beautiful colors. Garnets exist in different shades of green, pale to bright yellow fiery orange and fine earth- and umbra-shades. The only color not available in this gem is blue.
Garnet has an excellent hardness of 7 to 7.5 on the Moh's scale of hardness and is thus very sturdy and resistant to daily wear and tear. The reason for the amazing brilliance of garnets is their high refraction of light. In the middle ages garnet was also called "karfunkel" in German, referring to the glowing red reminiscent of the sparks of fire.
Garnets have been widely known for thousands of years and are found in jewelry from ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman times. Noah was said to have used a lantern of garnet in order to safely steer his Ark through the darkness of the night. Many courageous discoverers and travelers wore garnets as protective talismans as it was believed that garnets illuminated the night and shielded their wearer from evil.
Garnets are mined in Namibia, Nigeria, Mali, Tanzania, India, Sri Lanka, The United States, Russia, Czech Republic, and in the Americas.