Monday, June 7, 2010

Pyrope Garnet

Pyrope Garnet

Birthstone Month:
Garnet is the gemstone associated with the month of January.

Garnet is associated with the zodiac sign Aquarius.

Chemical Symbol:

Chemical Make-up:
Pyrope Garnet is a Magnesium Aluminum Silicate and owes it's deep blood red color to traces of iron and chromium.

History & Lore:
The name Garnet comes from the Latin word granatium which means “pomegranate”. Many believe that Garnet was likened to the the pomegranate because its coloration is similar to that of the seeds of the fruit.

Pyrope is derived from the Greek 'pyropos', meaning “fire-like”

It is believed that Noah used a huge Garnet to illuminate the night to help steer his ark to safety. Garnets have also been used by many explorers and travelers as it is believed to protect the wearer when journeying far from home.

Garnets have also been set in shields, armor, and buckles by crusaders for it is believed that it gives protection from wounds & stops bleeding. Many native tribes from North, Central, and South America wore Garnets to ward off evil influences and spirits.

The Hunzas used Garnet bullets to fend off the British troops during their quarrel of 1982, believing that it was stronger and more deadly then lead.

Garnet is said to be the stone of romantic love and passion, enhancing sensuality, sexuality, and intimacy. It is said to awaken creativity, positive energy, and self-confidence, and can bring success to one's career or business. Garnets have been thought to treat infectious diseases, blood poisoning, and heart and lung diseases. It is also a protective stone which is effective for protection from evil and nightmares and one that can be used for spiritual healing. Whilst Garnet is primarily associated with the root chakra, it is also effective at opening other chakras, depending upon the color of the stone in question.

Pyrope Garnet in particular has long been associated with love, passion, sensuality, sexuality, and has been used as a curative for numerous ailments relating to blood.

Pyrope Garnet is the most famous form of Garnet because of it's distinct and attractive deep, blood-red color that has an appearance much like that of a Ruby. Pyrope is a relatively common mineral and is priced modestly, though top-quality gems can be both rare and expensive.

There are known Pyrope deposits in Argentina, Australia, Bohemia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Myanmar (Burma), Scotland, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tanzania, the United States, and Zimbabwe.

Pyrope Garnet is rated at 7 - 7.5 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness, making it durable and resistant to everyday wear and tear. The Garnet is a popular gemstone choice the world over because it is a natural, untreated gemstone that is generally affordable.

Pyrope is the most famous of Garnet gemstones because it forms rounded, transparent crystals together with its distinct and desirable deep red color. Pyrope gemstones are often perfectly transparent and totally clean of inclusions, though this characteristic is less visible with dark specimens. Pyrope can exhibit colors ranging from a deep blood red to a reddish black, and the rarer rose-red to violet.

A very special variety of Pyrope found in Arizona is the Chrome Pyrope, whose color rivals Ruby. It has been given the name “ant hill garnets” because they are mined by ants, who bring them to the surface when they are excavating their anthills. Another popular variety is the rose-red to violet Rhodolite Garnet which is not in fact a pure variety of Pyrope, but a mixture of Pyrope and Almandine.

The most valuable of Pyropes are those that are completely eye-clean, displaying a strong level of transparency and a bright red color.

Common Cuts:
Pyrope Garnet is usually cut into the shape / cut that will show the least amount of color darkness. It is generally either made into a cabochon, or faceted, with an oval, cushion, or round cut.

Routine Enhancements:
There are no known treatments for Pyrope Garnet.

Care & Cleaning:
A Pyrope Garnet can be cleaned using warm, soapy water and a soft brush. An ultrasonic cleaner is safe for most Garnets but not for all, so should be used with caution. Pyrope Garnet should be kept away from chemicals that will cause it to erode such as hydrofluoric acid as well as drastic temperature changes as this may cause fracturing.

Always store your Pyrope Garnet jewelry in a fabric-lined box, away from other jewelry in order to avoid scratching / damage.

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