Happy birthday, January babies!
January’s birthstone, the garnet, has a rich and celebrated history. This stone has been known to symbolize many outstanding qualities like loyalty, self-confidence, and passion. It is also a lucky stone for business relationships, love, and success.
If you’re one of the few to be born in January, you are in for a treat as garnet comes in a variety of colors so there’s definitely a hue that will suit your taste.
Here’s our list of interesting facts about this gem that will surely pique your interest.
- Originating from the medieval Latin granatus that means “pomegranate”, Garnet is referenced to the similarity of the red color. This stone has been used since the Bronze Age as abrasives and gemstones. In ancient Egypt, garnets were worshipped as they adorned the necks of the mighty pharaohs.
- Garnet is composed of several minerals — almandine, pyrope, spessartine, andradite, and grossular. Almandine and pyrope range from red to purple. Andradite comes in yellow to green and spessartine in yellows and oranges. Grossular has the widest variety –from colorless to yellow and reddish orange and orangy red. It also comes in a rich vibrant green called tsavorite.
- In ancient Rome, signet rings had garnet intaglios that were used to stamp the wax to secure invaluable documents.
- Indian astrology states that garnet helps alleviate negative feelings like guilt and depression and boost mental clarity and confidence. It also assists with creative thinking and peace of mind. Additionally, it remedied inflammatory diseases and soothed the angry heart.
- On the Mohs scale of hardness, the different types of garnet range between 6.5 to 7.5. Thus, this gem is more susceptible to damage than sapphires, diamonds, and rubies. Garnets may not be ideal for everyday wear but they are great as pendants, brooches, and earrings. So, when you have garnet in your jewelry collection, be careful not to rub it against other gems as it can either be scratched by harder gems or can scratch softer ones.
- Garnet can be found in different countries across the globe. The primary source of red pyrope garnet which was admired during the Victorian times is Bohemia. During the 19th century, the Russian royal family donned green demantoid garnets from the Ural Mountains. Recently, the African continent supplies much of the world’s garnet.
- Garnet has been known to symbolize deep and lasting friendship. As such, garnet is a great gift for someone whose friendship you value and cherish.
- Most garnets are not treated. Some might be fracture-filled but treaters enhance the clarity of the gem by filling surface-reaching breaks with a glass-like substance. These treated stones require extra care. If you own a garnet, clean yours with a soft brush or warm soapy water. You can also use ultrasonic cleaners except for stones with fractures. Avoid steam cleaning as it could harm the stone.
Whether you want to purchase a garnet to be given as a gift or to simply add to your collection, may this stone bring you happiness, goodwill, and purpose as you start and journey through the rest of the year!