A mixture of two garnet types, almandite and pyrope, purple or rhodolite garnet is beloved for its pinkish, purplish and/or purple-red color. Often described as raspberry color, rhodolite at its best has a velvety purple-red tone. Today most fine quality rhodolite is mined in Africa, although garnet is abundant throughout the world.
A red garnet bead necklace was discovered in an Egyptian grave dating to 3800 B.C.E. Garnet in fact comes from the Latin word ‘garanatus’ meaning ‘seed like’ in reference to a pomegranate’s red jewel-like seeds. Rhodolite specifically gets its names from the Greek work ‘rhodon’, which appropriately means ‘rose colored’.
Garnet is the birthstone for January and the gift for the second wedding anniversary.