Birthstone of the month: deeply rich rusty red garnet
by Lisa Beauchamp Jan 7, 2019
A birthstone is associated with each month of the year. Various myths and legends refer to the birthstones’ healing powers and therapeutic effects. However, in modern times, it makes the selection of jewellery much simpler when personalizing a gift.
For those born in January, garnet is the designated birthstone, and for those celebrating their second wedding anniversary, garnet is the traditional gem.
The name “garnet” originates from the Latin word “Garanatus”, meaning “seed like” as small garnets look similar to the red seeds found inside a pomegranate.
Best known as the deeply rich rusty red, these gemstones are actually available in a rainbow of colours ranging from green, blue, yellow, opaque black, some are even colourless. The popular reds range from auburn red to deep-violet red. The rarest is the blue garnet.
Red almandine is the red garnet that is used for jewellery as it is abundant and inexpensive.
History reveals that red garnets were worn thousands of years ago by the pharaohs in Egypt. Garnet necklaces have been discovered in the tombs of mummified corpses.
Regarded as a durable mineral, it is used in many types of manufacturing as an abrasive. When crushed into tiny particles, it can become an abrasive powder or when bonded to paper, it produces a reddish coloured sandpaper.
According to folklore, garnet symbolizes deep and lasting friendship. Wearing a piece of jewellery containing garnets can bring peace, prosperity and good health to the wearer. Medieval warriors wore garnets to protect them during battle and ward off being wounded.
Garnets are said to be lucky for love, success and achieving goals. All the more reason to wear them even if they aren’t your birthstone!
Sources: http://www.jewelsforme.com, geology.com americangemsociety.com, just garnets.com