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Spessartite Garnet

 

Gemstone:
Spessartite Garnet (also known as Spessartine Garnet)

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

Zodiac:
Garnet is associated with the zodiac sign Aquarius.

Chemical Symbol:
MnAl2(Sio)3

Chemical Make-up:
Spessartite is a Manganese Aluminum Silicate. Spessartite is colored by a fundamental element in its composition, Manganese, which produces its beautiful orange coloration. This color can be modified by mixing Iron into its composition in the form of Almandine, producing a reddish-orange color.

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.

Spessartite is named after the Spessart district in Bavaria, Germany.

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.

Availability:
Spessartite is one of the lesser-known Garnets, not only because it is relatively rare, but because it does not have any superior attributes over the other Garnets. The most desired Spessartite is the Mandarin Garnet which has gained worldwide popularity over the past decade.

Sources:
Today the most important sources of Spessartite Garnet are Namibia and Nigeria, particularly Nigeria, as it has rich deposits of the much desired Mandarin Garnet. There are also known deposits in Brazil, Madagascar, Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma), Namibia, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, and the United States.

Evaluation:
Spessartite 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.

Natural Spessartite will exhibit a bright orange color, though iron impurities that are often found present in its composition will alter the color to a dark orange, reddish-orange, or even a brownish-orange. Spessartite Garnet is generally eye-clean, and due to their color they look best under incandescent light. It is recommended that you examine the stone under a variety of light sources before purchasing. Mandarin Garnets are known not only for their stunning bright orange colors but their remarkably high refraction of light that allows for exceptional brilliance and fire, even in unfavorable light conditions.

Common Cuts:
Spessartite Garnets are generally faceted into ovals, cushions, emeralds, and round cuts. They can also be found cut into cabochons.

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

Care & Cleaning:
A Spessartite Garnets are best cleaned using warm, soapy water and a soft brush. An ultrasonic cleaner is safe for most Spessartites but not for all, so should be used with caution. They should be kept away from chemicals that will cause erosion and away from drastic temperature changes as this may cause fracturing.

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

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