January Birthstone - Garnet

January Birthstone - Garnet

The word garnet comes from the 14th‑century Mideviel Latin word gernet, meaning dark red. It is derived from the Latin word granum, which means seed and is possibly a reference to the pomegranate, which contains seeds similar to the shape and size of garnet.

There are quite a few gemstones that share a similar crystal structure and chemical composition that make up the garnet family. The garnet also has a pick-up response to a strong neodymium magnet which separates it from all other natural transparent gemstones commonly used in the jewelry trade. The color of the family varies greatly including including red, orange, yellow, green, purple, brown, blue, black, pink, and colorless, with reddish shades most common.

In medieval times, the garnet was thought to cure depression, protect against bad dreams and relieve diseases for the liver and hemorrhages. And according to some legends, Noah used a finely cut, glowing garnet to illuminate the ark.

January Birthstone - Pear Shaped Garnet Gemstones

Red garnets were the most commonly used gemstones in the Late Antique Roman world and pure crystals of garnet are still used as gemstones today. The gemstone varieties occur in shades of green, red, yellow, and orange. Not only is the garnet the birthstone of January in the United States, it also state mineral of New York and Connecticut and the star garnet is the state gemstone of Idaho.

Garnet has been found all over the world with different types found in different locations with the most recent and most rare find, the blue garnet, discovered in Madagascar.

The multitude of colors of garnet offers many options for a diversity of styles and tastes and makes a wonderful gift for any January birthday.


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