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 Umbalite Garnet

 

Gemstone:
Umbalite Garnet

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

Zodiac:
Garnet is associated with the zodiac sign Aquarius.

sChemical Symbol:
Mg3Al2(SiO4)3

Chemical Make-up:
Umbalite Garnet has a chemical composition containing a mixture of Pyrope and Almandite, and traces of Spessartite.

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.

The name Umbalite is derived from the location in which it was discovered, Tanzania's Umba Valley in 1978.

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:
Umbalite Garnet is extremely rare and production of this unusual gem has been irregular. It is highly sought-after by gem connoisseurs.

Sources:
The sole source of Umbalite Garnet is Tanzania's Umba Valley.

Evaluation:
Umbalite 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.

Umbalite Garnet is closely related to Rhodolite Garnet as it is a combination of Pyrope and Almandite, with small traces of Spessartite. The major difference between these two Garnets is that Umbalite is a lighter pinkish-purple due to the Spessartite traces. The saturation and color differences are particularly noticeable in smaller sized stones. Larger stones, like in all Garnets, tend to get darker as the size increases, making it more difficult to notice the difference with the untrained, unaided eye. Umbalite Garnet also has a high refraction of light that allows exceptional brilliance and fire.

The most desirable and sought-after stones are those that display a well-balanced and saturated color. Clarity and carat weight are also both important factors when evaluating Umbalite 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:
Umbalite 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 Umbalite Garnet.

Care & Cleaning:
A 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 Umbalite Garnet jewelry in a fabric-lined box, away from other jewelry in order to avoid scratching / damage.

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