Garnets have a long and ancient history, and over time have been revered for possessing protective powers. A garnet is a species of gemstone that appears in a variety of colours, though the most common and most widely recognized is a deep red hue. Garnets are categorized into over ten varieties, and come in various shades of green, purple, red, orange and yellow. Dark, warm hued red garnets of the pyrope variety were particularly popular in eighteenth and nineteenth century jewellery. It is a relatively durable gemstone, and rates a 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness. The name derives from the Latin word 'granum', meaning grainy.