The Gorgeous Garnet is your January Birthstone
Garnet is a beautiful stone that comes in quite the range of colors. Large
garnet gems, whicle not approaching diamonds or rubies in price, can make your wallet take a deep breath. The red
garnet is the one used for the January Birthstone, but any piece of fine garnet will look great in the right
Some shops sell garnets in hand-formed silver, which makes for a very
attractive setting at a decent price. You can also find garnets set in rings, earrings, bracelets, etc., in
some very attractive settings ranging from very affordable to expensive (such as these 14K Garnet & Diamond
Earrings) to the slightly more breathtaking.
Depending on the tradition birthstones can vary in significance and importance.
In the modern jewelers tradition, they're simply beautiful gems. In more ancient traditions they have special
powers and mean special things.
For example, gemstone.org says:
Garnets have been widely known for thousands of years. Even Noah, it is reported, used a
lantern from Garnet in order to safely steer his Ark through the darkness of the night. Garnets are found in
jewelry from ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman eras. Many courageous discoverers and travellers wore Garnets
for protection, as they were considered popular talismans and protective stones, because it was believed in
those days that Garnets illuminate the night and prevent their wearer from any sort of evil.
Sounds like a pretty cool january birthstone to me. Great way to start the year. -Greg]
The healing powers of the Garnet: Facilitates night vision, ensures success, and provides
guidance, protection, purification, and warmth. The ancient Egyptions beleives that garnets could purify the body
of various types of toxins. Different colors of garnets will have slightly different properties.
Not only is Garnet a fine stone for crystal healing purposes, as well as the birthstone for the
month of January, but it isalso the traditional anniversary gemstone for the second year of marriage.
Archaeologists have found primitive garnet jewelry among the graves of lake dwellers which dates the use of this
popular gemstone to the Bronze age. Today they are mined in Brazil, India, Madagascar, India, Siberia, Africa, Sri
Lanka, and the United States.
Not all garnets are of gem quality. "Raw" garnets make a very effective abrasive and used commercially for
grinding and polishing. Believe it or not, garnet-coated sandpaper is popular for industrial use.
Color Me Beautiful
Garnets are extremely diverse and offer enough variety in appearance (and color) to suit every taste. Although
you may think of garnet as a red gem, the truth is that the garnet family of gemstones comes in a broad spectrum of
colors, except blue.
Garnets of muted yellows, vibrant oranges, rosy pinks, lime greens, and violets are all part this gemstone's
rainbow of hues. The diversity is due to unique combinations of elements within each particular gem, such as iron,
calcium, and manganese.
What's In A Name?
Look at the seeds of a pomegranate and you'll immediately understand how the word "garnet" was derived from the
Latin word "granatus," meaning "grain" or "seed." Garnet is thought to have earned its name because of its close
resemblance to the succulent red pomegranate seed!
But don't bite into a garnet! Like a diamond, a garnet is strong. It has a Moh's scale hardness 6.5 to
7.5… not the hardest of gems, by far, but definitely not tooth-friendly.
A Greek myth tells the story of Peresphone, the young goddess of sunshine, who was abducted by Hades, god of the
underworld. The devil eventually released her, but not before he offered her some pomegranate seeds, which she ate
and which guaranteed her return to him. Thus garnets have come to represent fidelity and commitment.
From the reading above you'll see that the garnet is surrounded in myths, legends and traditions.
It is believed to be one of the 12 gemstones in Aaron's breastplate in the Hebrew tradition.
The Christians consider it is symbolic of Christ's sacrifice and the blood of their savior. Many faiths
claim that Noah hung a large red garnet in the ark for illumination. In the Koran, garnets are believed to
illuminate the Fourth Heaven of the Moslems.
Various other powers and legends surround the garnet that are not mentioned above. For example, it is reputed to
have warming tendencies which will aid in any treatment where warmth is suggested, such as frostbite or joint
That makes for a pretty cool January birthstone, doesn't it?