The Garnet Attraction: January Birthstone
January 3, 2009 by Sheryl Martinez
As one of few ancient gemstones existing today, Garnets have found their exclusive place under the sun. Its earliest use as adornment could be traced back to around 3,000 B.C., as evidenced by remnants of garnet jewelry found in the Nile Delta. Ancient Egyptians have created bracelets, necklaces, and other body adornment made from this hard stone. However, it was the Greeks who gave this gemstone its name. History reveals the name was largely influenced by its physical appearance, more specifically of its color and the way it clumps itself together like the pomegranate fruit–and yes, you guessed it right: this was the fruit this gemstone was named after.
The Garnet is an exceptionally versatile gemstone. Though it is popular by a couple of varieties called the Almandine and Pyrope, whose rich hues runs from dark red to brownish red, it has many other color varieties that practically covers the entire spectrum, except for the color blue. The Garnet has dark and light hues, some with translucent properties and one that exudes a rainbow of color, including pink, red, purple, orange, yellow, violet, green, and albeit rarely black & brown. Interestingly enough, its hardness has also been a popular tool to use as an abrasive for wood, metal, plastic, glass and leather. Once upon a time, it was even used as bullets by tribes in the East. According to the Mohs Scale, the Garnet stone ranges from six to seven in hardness, meaning it has high propensity to crack when dropped or upon impact with another hard object or surface.
According to jewelry.com, the Garnet’s many varieties can be recognized through its colors:
“Almandine, the most common type, is dark red to brownish red. Pyrope is blood red. Rhodolite, one of the most popular varieties, ranges from pink to purplish red and is mined in Africa, India and Sri Lanka. Malaya, a mixed variety found in Tanzania and Kenya, ranges from orange to gold. Tsavorite is bright yellow green to grass green and is also mined in Tanzania and Kenya. Demantoid is primarily found in Russia. Hessonite and spessartite mostly come in golds, oranges and browns. Mandarin is a bright orange type of spessartite recently found in Namibia. Grossular is available in pinks, greens and yellows.”
- More than it’s beautiful range of colors, the Garnet is also a popular gem among believers of the spiritual world. It is believed to possess mystical properties that helps the wearer achieve vitality, courage and self-confidence. It also is the gemstone associated with love, passion and sensuality.
More importantly, this particular gem is said to resolve conflicts resulting from abandonment and aids couple to commit to each other better. Another legend linked to this gemstone dates back to biblical times and that it was believed to have been use by Noah to light the ark during the great flood.
Garnets are beautiful presents for second wedding anniversary occasion, as well as for individuals who celebrates their birthday in the month of January. It certainly makes for a very attractive choice for jewelers and gemstone fans alike.
Image: Garnet Matrix (by the Gem & Mineral Exploration Company)
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