Red Garnet usually belongs to either Pyrope or Almandine subspecies . Many red stones are a mix of these two. Plus, Spessartine garnets containing some Almandine molecules can be red as well. Are you confused? Well, it’s never simple in the garnet family.
Garnet has good durability with hardness usually between 6.5 and 7.5 on Mohs scale. It is singly refractive, meaning its colour doesn’t shift with the orientation.
Red Garnet was known since the Egyptian times and was a very popular stone in the ancient Rome.It was used for jewellery, cameos and seals. In the middle ages in Europe, garnets were believed to have special powers. They were often used in Viking burials to help them in reaching Valhalla or placed on the shields of knights to prevent injury. In fact, before modern tests were developed, the name “garnet” only referred to the red varieties. It comes from the Latin “granatum” meaning pomegranate, because of the resemblance of red crystals to the seeds of that fruit.
Today Red Garnet remains a popular stone, mined worldwide and often used as an alternative to ruby.