This stone is a deep red garnet with a violet hue. It owes its name to the city of Alabanda, near Ephesus in Asia Minor, which in ancient times was an important mining and cutting center for this variety of garnet. It was used in Persia from the Sassanid era (third century AD). Skillfully-cut almandine jewelry has also been found in the tombs of Frankish princes and kings, including that of Childeric I (fifth century). Almandine became extremely fashionable for its ornamental value in the seventeenth century (a number of “Louis XIV”'s almandine salt cellars can be admired in French museums), then under the Second Empire when its most popular form was faceted or polished into a cabochon. Iron aluminum silicate. Hardness: 7.5. Sri Lanka, India, Zambia,Vietnam, Brazil, Madagascar.