Garnet is not a single mineral, but is a group closely related minerals. Garnet is used in a variety of jewelry and comes in different colors including: red, orange,yellow,green, purple, brown, pink,and colorless. The blue garnet is the rarest of these colors.
Garnet has a hardness of about 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness. In the united states it is the birthstone for January. It is also the state mineral of Connecticut.
There is also some symbolism associated with garnet as well. To some garnet symbolizes purity, truth, faithfulness, and friendship.
The source for most garnets is found in African countries however the united states, Brazil and India among others also produce them. Besides being used to create jewelry it is also used as an abrasive. Garnet sand is used in sand blasting replacing silicate sand. Garnet paper is used by cabinet makers to smooth out bare wood. Garnet is also used in water filtration devices.
So whether it is used for beauty or to create beauty garnet is one of the most useful minerals today.