January’s Birthstone is Garnet
For babies born in January, the garnet is the perfect gem to represent their birthstone. This beautiful stone, which is most commonly red but can be found in a range of other colors, symbolizes peace, prosperity and good health. Some say it even has the power to give the wearer eternal happiness, health and wealth.
We say it’s the perfect way to start each year!
The word “garnet” comes from the 14th Century Middle English word “gernet” meaning dark red. The word is derived from Latin “granatum” which means seed, and is called so because of the gemstone’s resemblance to the beautifully red seeds of the pomegranate. Garnet is actually the name of a group of minerals that comes in a rainbow of colors, from the deep red of the Pyrope garnet to the vibrant green of Tsavorites. Some rare garnets are even blue, colorless, or—most rare of all—change colors in different lights. But the most common color is a beautiful range of reds, from rust colored to deep violet-red.
The garnet is a very durable gemstone (6.5-7.5 on the Mohs scale) found all over the world, including Wyoming, Czech Republic, Greece, Russia, Tanzania, Madagascar, Sri Lanka and India. It is also believed that the garnet symbolizes deep and lasting friendship. With that "legend" in mind, give a garnet to someone whose friendship you deeply value.
The garnet is so durable, remnants of garnet jewelry can be found as far back as the Bronze Age. Other references go back to 3100 BC when the Egyptians used garnet as inlays in their jewelry and carvings. The Egyptians even said it was the symbol of life. The garnet was very popular with the Romans in the 3rd and 4th Century. This gemstone was also used as a talisman for protection both by warriors going into battle and to those who wanted to ward off pestilence and plague. Some ancient healers and wise men even placed garnets in wounds and praised its healing powers.
Today, the garnet can be found in a range of jewelry pieces and styles, from beautiful rings to stunning tiaras. Since the garnet can come in a range of colors, rare garnets in green or blue make breathtaking pieces, especially in pendants or drop earrings.
How To Buy Garnet
If you’re looking to purchase a garnet for yourself or a loved one, it is a great way to celebrate friendship, toast a 2nd wedding anniversary or recognize the wearer’s January birthday. When buying, visit a jewelry you know you can trust to assist you in purchasing exactly the right stone and piece. Look at how the garnet reacts under light, both natural and synthetic and check for an intense, saturated color. Remember, garnets commonly come in a wide spectrum of reds, but can also be green, pink, colorless or blue. The price of the piece will likely increase for more rare colors like green or blue.
Try to find a cut that spreads light evenly over the surface of the gemstone. This will help to bring out the overall beauty and color of the garnet. No matter which stone or piece you choose, remember that the garnet is known for its durability and richness of color, so your investment will not only have great emotional value but could be a piece that stands the test of time.
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