Garnet- January Birthstone

>> Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Garnet - a stone of vitality and passion. "Garnet" comes from the Latin word "granatus," meaning "grain" or "seed." This name was given to the garnet because of its close resemblance to the succulent pomegranate seed. But don't bite into a garnet, because at Moh's hardness 6.5 to 7.5, it will definitely damage the teeth!

Garnet Powers: Facilitates night vision, ensures success

Alternative Birthstone: Emerald

Garnets are a group of common silicate minerals that have similar crystal structures and chemical compositions. It can be translucent to transparent, sometimes opaque with a vitreous or resinous lustre. The best known type of garnet is red semi-precious stone pyrope, one of several red gems, which the ancients used to call Carbuncles.

Archaeologists have found primitive garnet jewelry among the graves of lake dwellers which dates the use of this popular gemstone to the Bronze age. Today they are mined in Brazil, India, Madagascar, India, Siberia, Africa, Sri Lanka, and the United States.

Garnets are extremely diverse and offer enough variety in appearance (and color) to suit every taste. Although you may think of garnet as a red gem, the truth is that the garnet family of gemstones comes in a broad spectrum of colors, except blue.

Garnets of muted yellows, vibrant oranges, rosy pinks, lime greens, and violets are all part this gemstone's rainbow of hues. The diversity is due to unique combinations of elements within each particular gem, such as iron, calcium, and manganese.

A gift of garnet is considered to be symbol of love and the desire for a loved one's safe travel and speedy homecoming. It is January's birthstone, but far from being only a winter gem, the garnet, with its brilliance and multitude of colors, is truly one for any season.

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