Andradite - a mineral priced up to $10,000 per carat
Andradite is a mineral which to a great extent resembles pomegranate seeds in appearance. However, while almost everyone had a taste of the fruit with wine-coloured seeds inside it, not everyone was lucky to to hold the stone in the hands.
Andradite is one of the most well-known and beautiful gemstones. From ancient times until the present, this mineral has been known because of the legends and myths about its magical and healing properties. It is believed that andradite brings love, desire and passion, gives power, drags down immoral people, grants its holders with enormous wealth, helps to predict the future and protect against diseases.
Georgian parables narrate to the healing properties of the mineral. One of the stories tells about the king, who was looking for a groom for his daughter. To choose the bravest one, he sent young lads to the garden to pick the magical fruit of the pomegranate. The path to the cherished place was long and young men got into the fight with evil spirits – only one of them completed the task. When he came back, he found that people in the town and even the king himself were dying from hunger. Without any hesitation, this young person broke open the first pomegranate, and the hunger receded, the second one – and the native land became fertile again, out of the third fruit red grain looking stones spilled out, which were carried away with the wind. Everyone who saw them was blessed to know what love really is.
The ruby-coloured andradite is the most proper stone to use if someone would need help with affairs of the heart. Unsurprisingly, in many countries young women wear jewellery from this mineral almost from birth, as they believe it will help them to have a happy marriage in the future. In Russian literature, one of the most tragic love stories is also linked to this mysterious stone. In the story of Alexander Kuprin, the main protagonist gifts a plain bracelet with a green andradite stone to his beloved one before own death. However, the jewel was not just an ordinary gift he received from his great-grandmother but a symbol of true, pure and unrequited love. Once the woman took it in her hands, she immediately realised that the tragedy would shortly follow, for inherited andradite garnets allow foreseeing future events.
This mineral is also called honest stone. Sometimes jewellery with andradite may wear off or drastically decrease in luster or colour intensity. An explanation is that andradite stone does not tolerate cynical and immoral acts from its owners, in which case it might even start bringing bad luck. It was also noticed that the stolen mineral can ruin the person’s life, whereas the bought one – to have a power of the talisman.
In many legends, the origin of the stone is attributed to the fire, and its most common variety – pyropes – is considered sacred in Mongolia. Local people believe that this mineral of thick red colour is the frozen blood of a living fire. In ancient times, people used to believe that whoever finds this stone will discover a great treasure.
For some hundreds of years, andradite was also used for medical purposes. In the East, the warriors always took a piece of mineral into battle for rapid healing of the wounds. Often it was grinded and poured onto the wound as an antiseptic. It is important to wear an item with stone on a certain body part for people wishing that andradite would positively affect their health condition. For instance, a necklace around the neck helps getting rid of headaches, and a ring on the middle finger of the right hand helps preventing migraine symptoms. Pregnant women suffering toxicosis are advised wearing a bracelet with multiple stones. In turn, silver pendant can help in treating pneumonia.
Andradite belongs to the group of silicates – the most wide-spread group of minerals on the earth. This mineral can widely vary in colours. Its colour range can be anywhere between maroon and intense emerald-green. The colour palette of andradite is enormously rich. It is possible to spot a deep black, purple, eggshell green and even orange andradite.