For those with January birthdays, Garnet makes the perfect birthstone. As January is the start of a New Year, garnet is a fitting gem, because it symbolizes peace, prosperity and good health. Many have said that this stone has the power to give the wearer eternal happiness, health and wealth. As a result, the gem is affectionately called the “Gem of Faith” and legend has it that those who wear it and do good…more good will come. As well, garnet symbolizes deep and lasting friendship. Moreover, with all these acclamations, garnet is ideally the best gem to start each year.
The word garnet descends from the 14th Century Middle English word “gernet” which means dark red. In fact! It’s also derived from the Latin word ‘granatum” which means seed. Therefore, it’s called garnet because of the gemstone’s resemblance to the red seeds of a pomegranate. Conversely, this beautiful gem is most commonly found in spectrums of red, like rust or deep violet-red, but can also be found in a range of colors, i.e. pink, orange, green, brown, purple, yellow, black and blue. Garnets range from a 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness and are found in the U.S. (Arizona & Wyoming), South Africa, Argentina, Czech Republic, Russia, Australia, Brazil, Myanmar, Scotland, Switzerland, India and Tanzania.
Historically, references that go back to 3100 BC show that Egyptians used garnet as inlays in their jewelry and carvings, likewise, it was placed in graves for good luck in the afterlife. Ancient Romans also used garnet in signet rings in the 3rd and 4th Century and the Victorian era popularized the gemstone by designing large statement pieces. For the same reason, Garnet was actually one of Queen Victoria’s favorite stones. Today, garnet can be found in a range of breathtaking jewelry pieces and styles from tiaras to rings. Celebrities like Kate Beckinsale, Carpenter, Mariska Hargitay, Sofia Vergara, Julia Ormond, Minka Kelly, Selena Gomez and Jessie J have been spotted wearing garnets at various events.
Accordingly, if you’re purchasing a garnet for yourself or a loved one, it’s a great way to recognize and celebrate a January birthday, venerate a friendship or salute a 2nd wedding anniversary. Ultimately, you’re making an investment in something beautiful with symbolic attributes and the wearer gets to start the New Year with a sense of goodwill, happiness, and purpose.
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