The term 'garnet' refers to a group of more than ten different gemstones of similar chemical composition. It is true to say that red is the colour most often encountered, but the garnet also exists in various shades of green, yellow, fiery orange and some fine earth-coloured nuances. The only colour it cannot offer is blue.
Garnet means something like 'the grainy one', coming from the Latin 'granum', for grain. This makes reference not only to the typical roundish shape of the crystals, but also to the colour of the red garnet, which often puts one in mind of the seeds of a ripe pomegranate. Garnets have been known to Man for thousands of years. Noah, it is said, used a garnet lantern to help him steer his ark through the dark night. Garnets are also found in jewellery from early Egyptian, Greek and Roman times.