The name Almandine comes from the town of Alabanda in Caria, Asia Minor where it was found.

Almandine or Almandite, is an iron aluminum silicate of the family of Garnet which comes in lovely pomegranate-red with a touch of violet. Almandine color can also range from pure red, reddish-orange and slightly purplish-red to dark brownish-red. The pure, deep red almandine is the most sought after and most valuable of the almandine gemstones.

In gemology, the family of garnet gemstone includes Almandine, Pyrope Garnet, Spessartite Garnet, Grossularite Garnet, Uvarovite Garnet and Andradite Garnet. Almandine and Pyrope are the more popular red garnet variety.

Almandine is the hardest variety of garnet. It has a hardness of 6.5 - 7.5 on the Mohs scale which makes it a suitable gemstone for any type of jewelry. It is transparent to opaque with a glass-like luster.

When almandine was first found in Australia, they were mistaken for rubies and thus they were known in trade for some time afterwards as Australian rubies.

Almandine is a very common garnet variety. However, only a small percentage of almandine is of gem quality.

Almandine when cut en cabochon is referred to as a carbuncle. Worth mentioning, however, is that in ancient times, any red gemstone cut en cabochon was described as carbuncles.

Garnet comes from the Latin word Granatus which means Grain. This is because garnet come as small grains of red crystals in their host rock.

What distinguishes almandine garnet from other red garnets is its darker tones. High quality almandine has a similar red color to that of rubies. For example, the Ceylon Ruby, found in Sri. Lanka is in fact an almandine.

Almandine garnet gemstones can be found in Brazil, India, Madagascar, Sri Lanka and in the United States. There have also been found small deposits of almandine in Austria and the Czech Republic.

Some almandine garnets display asterism when polished as cabochons and are known as Star Garnets. These are found in Idaho, United States and India.

The exquisite and lovely red color of almandine is due to the element iron present in almandine.

Very large-sized almandine have been mined, but due to its dark tones, only small to medium sized almandine have been made into jewelry.

The more popular garnet varieties are:

Star Garnet, Pyrope, Rhodolite, Spessartite, Grossularite Garnet, Tsavorite Garnet, Demantoid Garnet, Color-Change Garnet and Malaya (Malaia) Garnet.

The lesser known Garnet Gemstone varieties include Hydrogrossular, Andradite Garnet, Mali Garnet, Melanite Garnet, Topazolite, Uvarovite Garnet Drusy, Hessonite Garnet, Leuco Garnet and Umbalite Garnet.

In ancient times, those who dreamed of precious red stones meant that he may soon be enlightened to the occult mysteries.

It was believed in antiquity and during the Middle-Ages that you could see the Universe reflected in this lovely red gemstone.

For thousands of years, precious red stones such as almandine have been used by shamans, medicine men and healers. They are still used today to relieve pain and cure illnesses.

The red in almandine represents the human search for immortality and the awe-inspiring power within the person.

It was believed that Almandine shone burning like a red coal in the dark. "The Great Carbuncle" a book written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, was about a unique almandine whose shine could be seen from far away.

In the middle ages, red stones like almandine were worn as amulets for protection against the Black Death. It was also worn by sailors and pirates to protect them from the dangers of the sea and from drowning.

In ancient Egypt, the almandine was considered among the most powerful of all gemstones, as its color resembles blood and the rising sun which made it an important amulet to ward off demons and misfortune.

Almandine was used as a sacred stone to help one resist temptations and evil forms of thinking and to banish nightmares.

Almandine, the red-flame gemstone, gives health and brings joy and contentment to the wearer.

It was used also as an omen. It was said that when the red luster of Almandine became dull, the Death of the wearer was nearby.

It was considered a sacred stone, bringer of hope and happiness, and as a protector from harm in the middle of a raging battle. It was considered the symbol of salvation and wisdom.

Almandine represents the red blood running through our veins keeping us healthy and moving. It relieves arthritis, varicose veins and backache.

Almandine, and garnets in particular, should not be exposed to extreme heat or temperature changes because it can cause fracturing.

It should be clean with warm water and mild soap and wiped with a soft cloth. Make sure that the soapy residue is removed entirely.