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January Birthstone

What is The Birthstone of January?

Radiant, lush and passionately sweet, January’s birthstone is the juicy cherry on top of all precious gems; the Garnet. Though they are often mistaken for rubies, garnets have their own unique property and level of prestige. Furthermore, while the red variation is well-known, there is a green variety of the stone, yet much rarer. Whether colored in deep shapes of burgundy, or a mesmerizing emerald green, the garnet’s sparkle is unlike any other; sure to captivate the imagination and heart.

The Story of Garnets

The red luscious garnet’s name derives from 14th century Middle English gernet, which literally translates into “dark red”. Like every Middle English word, the true origin is Latin - more precisely, from the word granatus, meaning grain or seed. Researchers have claimed that this could possibly be related to the pomum granatumm, which naturally relates to pomegranate. Proving once again, that the granets, more than anything resemble a ripe fruit that simply begs to be tasted.

The garnets have forever been prized and desired stones. In fact, there were garnets found in jewellery dated as far back as 3000, BC. This of course, attests to their strength and durability, which was one of the many reasons for their popularity. Thanks to their famed endurance and rich color the gems were attractive and sought-after during Late Antique Roman times and later even by the Barbarians who conquered the Western Roman Empire. Symbolizing elevation, power, authority and stability, the garnet soon became coveted among nobility and the rich. The most prominent of which was the King of Saxony, who rumordly possessed a garnet of over 465 carats.

Maintaining its status, the garnets finally reached the height of their desirability during the 18th and 19th century. The Victorians adored the gem, and garnets had become a central stone in jewellery production and design in England. It should also be noted that during those times, the gorgeous stone was famed in Spain, too; because the pomegranate fruit has dominant representation in the Spanish culture, both in its cuisine as well as a symbol, the gem which resembles it, has been featured in countless artifacts and precious collectables. Throughout history, garnets represented intense passion, truth, anger and even indulgence. Take one look at the stone, and your spirit will run wild and free.

Recommended Reading: Garnet VS Ruby

Garnets Myths and Legends

Garnet Faceted Crystal Garnet Faceted Crystal

Garnets have been precious in many cultures, however, their color has led them to be associated with heat as well as blood. For instance, though Jewish scholars believe that Noah had used the stone to illuminate and spread warmth through the ark, Christians believe that the deep crimson shades of the stone in fact signify Jesus’ blood and sacrifice. The third largest religion, the Islam, on the other hand, beleive that the garnet illuminates the Fourth Heaven.

Thus, the stone has consistently been associated with many religions. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t play a central role in folklore and mystic practices too. For instance, the ancient Greeks thought that the stone could protect children from bad dreams but also from drowning. In addition, people used to believe that the gem had healing powers especially when it came to liver-related diseases and poisoning.

Finally, the garnet’s vibrant color has sparked the imagination of many people. If you’re looking to be swept away by the fickle tremors of love and passion, the January birthstone might just be the one for you!