Other Names: Almandite (incorrect name), Ceylon-ruby, Syrian Garnet
Origin of Name: Almandine may have originated from the name Alabanda in Asia Minor
Meaning of the Stone: Birthstone of the Aquarius
Family: ferrous Aluminum Silicate
Region: Burma, Madagascar, USA, Tanzania, Brazil, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka
Color: dark colorations of brown-red to violet-red
Hardness (Gravity): 7-7.5 (3.93-4.05)
Crystal System: Isometric-Hexoctahedral
Similar Minerals: Phenakite, Olivine, Andradite, Kyanite, Topaz
1. Legend and History
Almandine was named after an alteration of the the word alabandicus, which the initial name of the stone given by Pliny the Elder to a stone found in Asia Minor, and more specifically Alabanda, thus also contributing to it’s name via means of topography.
Popular belief in ancient times said that those whom dreamt of almandine garnet would soon find the solutions to the mysteries of life; In addition, it was also believed that gemstones held the reflection of the galaxy, and the almandine garnet specifically was believed to hold the reflection of Mars, Pluto and Mercury.
As the majority of precious and semi-precious stones, almandine garnet is also believed to hold certain healing powers, such are, help with problems occurring from arthritis, varicose veins, and backache.
2. Origin in nature and use:
Almandine garnet is found in large amounts around the world, thus allowing for a low price, and wide distribution. As the stone is rather dark when delivered from nature, it is usually cut and hollowed out in order to allow light to fill it and gain somewhat of a spectrum of light. The usual cut used for such types of stone is either the brilliant, which brings out it’s natural deep red color, or in a cabochon style, or‘carbuncle-cut’.
3. Interesting Facts:
Almandine stones sometimes are found to have asbestos fiber in their containments, which, when properly cut may produce high quality rare stones.
4. Care and Storing:
As this is a semi-precious stone, it is rather easy to take care of, but nonetheless some amount of caution must be used as almandine is still a crystal, despite it’s abundance in deposits. The best storing for any type of stone, including almandine, is in a presentation box, or velvet pouch in order to mitigate damage to the specific cut and shine of the stone.