Origin of Garnet
The first Garnets were found in Pegu, therefore all the oriental Garnets from India, Brazil, Ceylon and of course Pegu, were called the “Syrian garnets.” It is mistaken to think that the first of these gems came to us from Syria. The oriental Garnets so-called “Syrian” just because Syrian was a capital of Pegu, in those days.
Origin of the name
The term “Almadine” (the most common variety of Garnet) derived to us from Pliny the Elder, who mentioned this stone in his famous treatise. Almadine has often used to imitate the Ruby in ancient times, therefore Pliny separated these stones.
Indeed, the name “Garnet,” know now, is borrowed from Latin “Granatus,” although its real name “Adems,” translated from ancient Jewish means “Rubinos” with the base of Ruby.” Therefore, I mentioned Pliny who told as that many of faced and polished Garnets of his times were sold as the Rubies.
Varieties of Garnet
The Garnet is famous by its varieties. This gem doesn’t have such a famous history as any Diamond or a Ruby, but this semi precious stone is often used to imitate these gems.
Several varieties of Garnet
There are 6 major varieties 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 a first time. This variety is also called “Carbuncle.”
The Pyrope is the next variety of the Garnet. Sometimes it is called as a “Bohemian Garnet,” because of its origin from Bohemia, Saxony (now Germany). The pyrope has a deep-red color, it is mined inside an alluvial soil.
Grossular Essonite (Hessonite)
Essonite is the next variety of the Garnet in our list. It was called the cinnamon-stone 2 centuries ago, but its modern name Grossular is more popular for today (but sometimes it is called the “Lime Garnet”). Grossular has a reddish-yellow tint, similar to the color of cinnamon, from whence its vintage name. This gem is mined principally on Sri Lanka.
Spessartine is a brown variety of the Garnet. This gemstone derived its name of Spessart — a region of Germany, where it was first discovered. But there are also distinguished specimens of Spessartine from Finland and Sweden.
Andradite is a variety of Garnet which is often used 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 in 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.