Monday, June 7, 2010

Rhodolite Garnet

Rhodolite Garnet

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

Garnet is associated with the zodiac sign Aquarius.

Chemical Symbol:

Chemical Make-up:
Rhodolite Garnet has a chemical composition averaging a 2:1 mixture of Pyrope and Almandite.

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.

Rhodolite is derived from the Greek 'rhodon', meaning “rose”, and the Greek 'lithos', meaning “stone”.

During the Middle Ages, Rhodolite was regarded as a stone of faith, truth and constancy.

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.

Rhodolite Garnet is becoming increasingly rare because of both its popularity and the fact that current deposits are becoming exhausted. Prices for Rhodolite Garnets tend to be more expensive in comparison to other Garnet varieties.

The most important deposits of Rhodolite Garnet can be found Sri Lanka, Tanzania, the United States, and Zimbabwe.

Rhodolite Garnet is rated at 6.5 - 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.

Rhodolite Garnet is a combination of both Almandine and Pyrope, and is often referred to as Pyrope-Almandine Garnet. The derivation from the Greek 'rhodo', or “rose”, is reminiscent of its color range from a light rosy pink to raspberry red. In addition to its color and rarity, Rhodolite Garnet often has a high refraction of light that allows exceptional brilliance and fire, which explains its popularity in the gem trade.

The most desirable and sought-after stones are those that display a well-balanced raspberry red color. Clarity and carat weight are also both important factors when evaluating Rhodolite Garnet and lastly, it is very important to consider well-cut stones as this will ensure that the maximum amount of brilliance is displayed by the gem.

Common Cuts:
Rhodolite Garnet is usually cut into the shape / cut that will show the least amount of color darkness. The shapes most effective for doing this are Cabochons, Cushion, Oval and Round.

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

Care & Cleaning:
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. Garnet should be kept away from chemicals that will cause it to erode such as hydrofluoric acid. Garnet should also be kept away from drastic temperature changes as this may cause fracturing.

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

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